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Kauai might have broken national rainfall record
HONOLULU — The National Weather Service says preliminary data indicates Kauai broke a national 24-hour rainfall record during recent flash flooding.
The agency’s Honolulu office said Wednesday that a rain gauge in Waipa recorded 49.69 inches of rain during the 24-hour period ending 12:45 p.m. April 15.
If this total is certified, it would break the current record of 43 inches recorded July 25-26, 1979, in Alvin, Texas.
The Waipa gauge is about 1 mile west of Hanalei on the island’s north shore. It’s operated by a nonprofit organization.
The agency says the National Climate Extremes Committee will convene to review the data and determine whether it’s a record.
The floods swept away homes and triggered mudslides. Damaged roads cut off several communities from the rest of Kauai.
Maui police officer files disability suit against department
WAILUKU, Maui — A Maui police officer has filed a lawsuit against the department claiming it has no psychologists to help police with mental health issues and has a pattern of retaliation, forcing officers to keep their problems secret.
Kelly Pauole, a 21-year veteran of the department, said his mental health declined after he fatally shot a man in 2006.
Officers had been responding to a home in Lahaina after a woman called 911 saying her father was threatening to kill her mom with a machete.
Officers claim Romero Butihi, 54, also had a nail gun, a spear gun and what appeared to be a rifle. They said police warned him multiple times to drop his weapons but he refused.
“I took the first shot, was point blank range,” Pauole said. “And then he staggered but he kept going, he kept dragging himself through the door, and so I had to shoot him again.”
Pauole, a Gulf War veteran, said the fatality could have been prevented if the officers on scene had stun guns.
“He should have been tased and not killed,” he said.
Pauole said he was put on administrative leave for a few months before a doctor cleared him to go back to duty, but he said he wasn’t ready.
“He said, ‘What’s your greatest fear?’ I said, ‘My greatest fear is going back to work and having to kill somebody else,’” he said. “When I went back on the road, I kind of was scared of getting shot.”
Pauole said he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following the shooting and asked to be put on light duty, but was instead demoted and stripped of his gun and badge.
The Maui Police Department released a response to the suit, saying it “continuously hires and supports all veterans.”
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