Hawaii Floods: What Tourists Should Know About Kauai
The past few days have been a disaster for residents in Kauai after heavy rains caused flooding and landslides over the weekend. The weather has left many stranded and caused major damage to roads, bridges and homes across the island. The U.S. Army and National Guard reportedly airlifted more than 340 people from the Hā‘ena and Wainiha area since Monday.
Photos from Hanalei Kauai, where more than 27 inches of rain fell within 24-hour period, according to the National Weather Service officials, show feet of standing water and even flipped cars.
Kauai is a major tourist destination with a mix of luxe hotels and resorts. As of now, Lihue Airport (LIH), the island's main airport, is open. However, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a Temporary Flight Restriction in the northernmost regions of Kauai, specifically the Hanalei and Wainiha area. Hawaiian Airlines is currently offering travel waivers to those who booked flights to/from (LIH) between April 14, 2018, and April 18, 2018.
The executive director for the Kauai Visitors Bureau, Sue Kanoho, said in a statement that the main focus is to assist those people and areas affected:
"Right now our focus is really helping that area, making sure residents are fine, visitors are fine." But as for those with planned trips to The Garden Island, "We’re trying to make sure everyone understands which side of the island is challenged," says Kanoho.
TPG reached out to Marriott, and they said that all five of their Marriott resorts — Marriott Kaua’i Beach Club, Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons, Kaua’i Marriott Resort, Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club, and Courtyard by Marriott Kaua'i at Coconut Beach—have sustained no damage and are operated as normal.
“As the hotels continue to monitor the weather, they are taking appropriate precautions to ensure smooth operations as well as the safety and wellbeing of our guests and associates throughout the week and beyond,” a Marriott spokesperson said.
Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort is also open and safe from the flooding with all roadways leading from Lihue Airport (LIH) to the property maintained and clear.
Those who have trips planned with other hotels should contact their hotels directly.
For visitors and residents in the area, the Hawaii Department of Health advises that everyone stays out of and limit exposure to flood waters. The Department also reminds all residents and visitors a brown water advisory for Kauai and the shores of Eastern Oahu is in effect.
For information and weather-related updates for the island of Kauai, travelers can visit the Hawaii Tourism Authority website.