Three Die, Dozens Evacuate as Heavy Rains Hit Kauai Island
LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) _ Torrential rains hit the Hawaiian island of Kauai on Saturday, causing flash floods that killed three people and damaged dozens of homes.
Two were listed as missing after fierce downpours that dumped more than 15 inches of rain in a 24-hour period.
Flooding caused landslides and serious property damage, said Mayor JoAnn Yukimura, who declared the island a disaster area.
Firefighters in Kapaa evacuated dozens of residents from flooded homes and took them to emergency shelters, but most were able to return home later Saturday.
Kuhio Highway, the main road around the island, was covered by flood waters in several areas, isolating the east and north sides of the island for a time.
Three men were killed in the Anahola-Aliomanu area on the east side of the island, said Police Chief Calvin Fujita.
By mid-afternoon, three people had been hospitalized in stable condition with storm-related injuries, while a fourth was treated and released, hospital spokesman Scot Roskelley said.
Wailua received 15.3 inches of rain during the 24-hour period ending at 3:15 p.m., said Wyman Au, a National Weather Service forecaster in Honolulu.
There was also an unconfirmed report of 20 inches of rainfall during the same time period, he said.
Light rain continued to fall from a weakening line of showers that stalled over Kauai, and the forecast called for continued light rain overnight, Au said.