S U N D AY , A P R I L 16, 2006 • S E C T I O N F
“Nature reminds us about who’s
in charge here. In nature, rocks will fall,
rivers will rise and the forces are real.”
Director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources
43 DAYS: DOWNPOURS. DEATH. DESTRUCTION.
A SPECIAL REPORT
TO THE TO THE
Six weeks of storms pound home a hard lesson
By Susan Essoyan and Dan Martin
HEN IT COMES to over- can happen here, and we need to be pre- contributed to flooding there.
W all destruction, Hurri-
cane Iniki’s 1992 direct
hit on Kauai remains the
high-water mark for
weather-related calamity in Hawaii.
But the recent torrential rain and the
pared for the abnormal,” said Andy Nash,
director of the Honolulu office of the Na-
tional Weather Service.
But are we?
Although the Civil Defense response
was relatively hitch-free, few homeowners
“The underlying problem was govern-
ment’s inability to basically do what they
were supposed to do,” said Dean Uchida,
executive director of the Land Use Re-
search Foundation, a lobbying group for
landowners and developers. “In the case
chaos it spawned outdid Iniki in the statis- affected by the floods had flood insurance. of the dam safety program, the state was
tic that matters most. And deeper questions are being raised responsible. In the case of the sewer
Iniki, which flattened thousands of about ham-handed development, interfer- mains, that was just total neglect.”
homes, took six lives. The rain of ’06, as it ence with watersheds, and government Peter Young, director of the state De-
might be remembered someday, resulted neglect that might have magnified the hu- partment of Land and Natural Resources,
in seven deaths — or eight, if an ill-fated man loss and economic impact. blames budget cuts for deleting a dam in-
plunge into the sewage-fouled Ala Wai Among the worst examples, the state spector position a year ago, leaving him
Harbor is counted. has no record of ever inspecting Ka Loko with just 1 ⁄2 positions.
The lesson from those six soggy weeks Dam, whose collapse killed seven on “We were doing what we could with the
from late February to early this month Kauai, and is investigating whether resources that we had,” Young said.
now seems obvious: Although the landowner James Pflueger illegally modi- Moves are now afoot to add back two
dreaded hurricane generates more hype fied the area’s landscape. The decrepit positions, and since the dam break, all
and awareness, the rain that keeps our is- sewer line that burst in Waikiki dated dams in the state have been inspected.
lands green can turn just as deadly. back to 1964 and was long overdue for re-
“The whole event proves that anything placement. A stream diversion in Hauula Please see Rain, F6
F3 COPING | Floodwaters recede, but the problems persist
for months for many homeowners.
F4 ENVIRONMENT | The greatest damage occurs when
nature’s force meets man-made structures.
F6 MARCH MADNESS | A unique meteorological system
“blocked” weather in Hawaii and around the globe.
F8 BUSINESS | Some companies benefited, others got
soaked in the persistent rain.
F9 TOURISM | Hawaii’s economic engine deals with
multiple public-relations nightmares.
F10 KAUAI | The Garden Isle works on recovery after
suffering the greatest losses in the state.
WATER LOG: PHOTOS OF THE DELUGE | F2 F5 F11
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
A pedestrian’s red umbrella and the stoplight at the intersection of University Avenue and Varsity Place provided the only color to an otherwise dismal scene
as heavy rain caused flash flooding through much of Honolulu on March 6.
HONOLULU STAR-BULLETIN / SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2006 / F 2
43 DAYS: DOWNPOURS. DEATH. DESTRUCTION.
WATER LOG: PHOTOS OF THE DELUGE
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
MARCH 31: Kang Chong waded through thigh-high water to take a picture of the waterlogged neighborhood as heavy rain caused a canal to overflow and flood
Fern, Hauoli and Punahou streets.
PAIL BATALLA / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-BULLETIN
MARCH 2: An Oahu Civil
Defense volunteer moni-
tored a swollen stream that
washed away a large
portion of this property in
MARCH 24: Michael Hofmann
and Linda Green were aided
by OCCC inmates after their
home on Puuhonua Street in
Manoa was flooded by water
and mud. Inmate Justin
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Delo Santos threw buckets
MARCH 31: Water flowed into hallways of low-level condo- of mud from the back yard
miniums on Keeaumoku Street mauka of Wilder Avenue into a truck bed.
after a nearby stream jumped its banks. DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 2006 FRIDAY, MARCH 3, 2006 FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2006
STAR-BULLETIN / SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2006 • F3
43 DAYS: DOWNPOURS. DEATH. DESTRUCTION.
RAIN LEAVES BUT PAIN LINGERS
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
APRIL 1: Bernie Lalosin, left, listened to Red Cross workers Tamy Goda and Eric Bias in her flooded home on Punahou Street.
Hard-hit residents cope with long slog back
By Mary Vorsino broke. “Just as I was opening my door,
email@example.com I heard a loud explosion,” he said.
COUNSELING “I still cannot forget that sound.”
The day after more than six inches of When the wall broke, cement tiles
mud rushed into her Kaaawa home in
torrential showers on March 2, Dawn
Nozawa showed an Oahu Civil Defense
Flood victims also face a deluge of emotions shot out at Lalosin and hit him in the
back, leaving him scratched and
bruised. Then, a wave of muddy water
worker the mess and was confident filled with debris slammed him.
By Mary Vorsino
she could get it cleaned up in a week. For a moment he was pinned up
He laughed, then told her she’d be
WHEN TO SEEK HELP against his screen door. He managed
lucky if the work was finished by to break the screen to get through and
Mike Wurtz and his Red Cross crisis counselors see After a disaster, counselors say, it’s normal to
Christmas. A month of painting, scrub- opened the front door, letting nearly
people when they are shocked, emotional and angry. be upset, anxious or shocked. Those feelings
bing and bleaching later, she’s starting two feet of water into his living room.
During the string of disastrous rains statewide, they should subside over time.
to believe him. Once he had closed the door, he
saw a lot of people. If they don’t, victims should seek professional
Three weeks after the flood, she called 911.
“They sometimes can feel lost and bewildered and help. They should also talk to a psychologist or
found a cake of mud under the tiles in Then, he watched the stream, wait-
confused. Sometimes, they get sad. Sometimes, they a doctor if they have difficulty eating or sleep-
her boys’ room. She’s had to pull a ing for the waters to recede enough so
get hysterical,” said Wurtz, the Red Cross of Hawaii’s ing, miss work or can’t return to normal func-
whole section of the flooring out. The that he could go outside and check on
disaster mental health coordinator. “It affects rela- tioning.
cleanup also is starting to eat away at his neighbors. Three nearby homes
tionships. It affects their sleep.” Children who go through a disaster tend to re-
the family’s finances. They had to had been gutted.
Wurtz and his team visited dozens of flooded-out bound quickly. A parent should seek help for a
throw out beds, clothes, a washing
homes statewide over the course of the heavy rains, child who is suddenly not playful or happy for
machine and dryer — along with irre- TWO WEEKS after the flood, spurred
offering distraught victims a calm, reassuring word an extended period of time.
placeable heirlooms. Their refrigera- by rain that also caused a devastating
and resources for more help. ———
tor was the last to quit. mudslide in Maunalaha Valley and left
They also told victims to be prepared for a slew of Source: American Red Cross
“When is this going to stop?” Kahala Mall under nearly a foot of wa-
emotions as they worked to clean up and rebuild.
Nozawa asked on a recent weekday. ter, one neighbor is still unable to re-
“When something like this occurs, we do a lot of edu-
“Everywhere I turn, there’s help and turn, and a second moved back in a
cation and advocacy,” Wurtz said.
it’s so great. But I know it’s going to hit few days ago.
“We try to go over what they’re experiencing. I try a disaster are usually very quiet, he said, and stop be-
us financially.” The retaining wall behind Lalosin’s
to teach these people these responses so that they ing playful and happy. But parents should not worry
home was rebuilt last week with the
don’t overreact. These are normal responses to ab- too much about kids, Wurtz added, because they are
THE NOZAWAS are one family of help of some volunteers.
normal experiences.” more likely to rebound after a disaster than adults.
dozens statewide left dealing with the While it was gone, Lalosin barely got
Over time, most people return to normal. They are Wurtz said that “for the most part” victims of the
grueling, costly aftermath of more any sleep. He kept worrying about the
able to sleep, to go to work, to smile and laugh. But recent heavy rains have been “recovering well.”
than a month of heavy rain. On top of possibility of a repeat. “Hopefully, it’s a
some have more lasting anguish, which leaves them He has heard of a few cases that required profes-
the physical and financial strains, 100-year flood, because I don’t want to
depressed or constantly tired. sional help.
there are the emotional ones: having go through this again in my lifetime,”
“If they’re not able to manage their normal lives af- There are some 300 Red Cross-trained crisis coun-
to face the mess, explaining the disas- he said recently, after a shopping trip
ter a period of time, they should go and seek help,” selors statewide, all of whom are volunteers. At any
ter to children. to pick up more cleaning supplies. “We
Wurtz said. one time, about 20 are available to offer their services
Some storm victims will never be were in shock for a couple of days. It
Children who are having problems moving on after to disaster victims.
able to sit calmly through a hard thun- was another state of mind.”
derstorm again. They will watch rain The residents of Maunalaha Valley,
clouds with trepidation and rush near Round Top Drive, know all about
home whenever it pours. shock, fear and lost sleep.
Others will have nightmares, per- A few days earlier, a Federal Emer- home. alive,” he told himself. The tight-knit community sustained
haps for months. gency Management Agency worker Subsequent rains flooded their pet- Lalosin had rushed home from Ala a series of landslides spurred by heavy
And many of those whose homes had told her the house where her hus- ting zoo, and there was little they Moana Center on March 31 when he rain, which have threatened to cut off
were flooded by muddy water or bat- band grew up would have to be in- could do for the animals. “My llamas got a call from his brother, saying the only road in. One large landslide
tered by landslides in the series of spected for structural integrity. were standing belly-deep in water,” Makiki Stream was high and threaten- created a new canyon right in front of
storms that hit the state starting Feb. 19 The mud underneath, the worker she said. “My poor sheep, my poor ing to overflow. Leinaala Lopes’ home.
face thousands of dollars in costs and had said, might have dried and under- pigs, all the silt would end up in their Lalosin lives in a studio behind his “We’re so scared and nervous,”
countless weeks of work ahead. mined the home’s foundation. The pens.” brother’s home, where his 15-year-old Lopes said, exhaustion peering through
A handful have lost their homes en- couple does not have flood insurance, Two days after floodwaters from nephew was alone when the flooding her determined voice. “It’s really stress-
tirely. and Nozawa estimates the damage to Makiki Stream broke a retaining wall started. The teenager made it out of the ful, especially to listen to the river.”
“It just really starts to grind on you,” her home and farm has already topped and poured into Ray Lalosin’s Fern house with the help of his father, who Just the other day, Lopes said, she
Nozawa said recently, on a particularly $70,000. Two animals were lost Street home, the Oahu Civil Defense vol- had also sped home that afternoon. was shopping in town when she saw
frustrating afternoon for the longtime in seven heavy showers, the unteer realized what had happened — While Lalosin was trying to get into clouds settling over Tantalus. She
Kaaawa resident, who operates a pet- first of which flooded their how close he had come to death — and his home through floodwaters, the re- froze, then cut short her trip, jumped
ting zoo on her farm. broke down in tears. “Thank God I’m taining wall keeping the stream at bay in her car and rushed home.
WHEN IT RAINED, IT POURED
FACTS & FIGURES MARCH 4: Doug
Kekona walked up
154 his debris-ridden
The number of times Fire
Crouching Lion Inn
Department personnel on Oahu
had to pump floodwaters out of
homes or other private
property in March. That
compares with 105 such “water
escaped the mud-
evacuations” for all of 2005.
slide. He was
Source: City and County of Honolulu
unable to leave his
home for several
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
STAR-BULLETIN / SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2006 • F4
43 DAYS: DOWNPOURS. DEATH. DESTRUCTION.
ACTS OF NATURE AND MAN COMPOUND DISASTERS
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
APRIL 6: Gregorio Manique cleared debris in the drained reservoir behind Morita Dam. It is downstream from the Ka Loko Dam, which failed March 14, send-
ing a torrent of water down Wailapa Stream that washed out homes and killed seven people. The Morita Dam held despite the massive deluge.
Nature’s fury teaches engineers hard lesson
By Diana Leone Loko Dam breach seemed to show SEWAGE
firstname.lastname@example.org that the Kalihiwai Stream estuary ab-
HEALTH OFFICIALS TRY TO STOP WAVE OF MOSQUITOES sorbed some of that flood’s force, Pol-
The six weeks of storms that
Now that the rain has stopped, the state Department of Health’s vector
hemus said. State denies posting
brought death and destruction to In coming weeks, scientists from
Hawaii also delivered replenishing re-
control branch is working to prevent major outbreaks of mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a few tablespoons of standing wa-
the state Department of Land and Nat- of warning signs
lief to the islands’ environment. ural Resources, National Oceanic and
Underground water supplies were
ter. And besides itchy bites, the insects can transmit potentially fatal dis-
eases such as dengue fever.
Atmospheric Administration and U.S. in Waikiki was slow
restocked, debris was washed out of Fish and Wildlife Service will survey
Here are some tips for eliminating mosquito breeding grounds from the
streams and nutrients from land fed Kilauea Bay’s underwater environ- By Diana Leone
Health Department’s Web site:
offshore reefs. ment, he said. They will be checking email@example.com
>> Dispose of rubbish that can collect water, such as old tires, plastic
The adverse environmental effects for sediment buildup, algae blooms
bags and yard waste.
of the record drenching tend to be and reef damage from uprooted trees A persistent criticism of state and city
>> Flush bromeliads and other plants that hold water with a garden
where rushing water met man-made that might have pounded them like officials’ response to a record raw-
hose once or twice a week.
obstacles, observers say. That is battering rams. sewage spill into the Ala Wai Canal has
>> Tip over wheelbarrows, pots and containers so they do not collect
where landslides and floodwaters Aquatic biologists also will be been that they were slow to post signs
push buildings, roads and sewage watching the areas offshore from the along Waikiki beaches warning people
>> Clean leaves and debris from rain gutters so they drain properly.
systems to the breaking point. Ala Wai sewage spill for a possible al- of contaminated water.
“The environment benefits from gae bloom. The sewage is not ex- Watson Okubo, the state official re-
rain, even heavy rain,” said Don Hea- pected to cause any direct kills of sponsible for deciding when to post
cock, the state Department of Land “If we didn’t build in the flood plain, One function of natural wetlands coral or fish, he said. those signs, rejects suggestions that po-
and Natural Resources aquatic biolo- we wouldn’t be flooded with fre- and estuaries is to slow down flood- A project to pump offshore sand to litical or business pressures delayed
gist on Kauai. “What the environment quency we have,” Chow noted. “We waters and filter out sediment and nu- Kuhio Beach to widen it was post- any postings.
doesn’t benefit from is how mankind like being close to our waterways. trients — keeping them from poned two weeks by the sewage spill “Nobody wen’ twist my arm to put
changes that environment.” Look at the housing prices on shore- overwhelming offshore reefs, Polhe- but is expected to start tomorrow. signs up, and nobody made me take
Recent storm-related events pro- lines and streams. It’s obvious that’s mus noted. U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist them down,” Okubo said last week. Not
vided numerous examples of that ax- what we’re attracted to.” On April 2, “Maunawili Stream flash- Steve Gingerich called the spate of the Health Department director, not the
iom, including: Yet in Hawaii, as worldwide, much flooded in a really intense way. It rain “probably a pretty good recharge governor, not the tourism industry.
>> In Hauula on Oahu’s Windward of the natural course of streams has roared into the marsh, and the marsh event” for Kauai and Oahu’s ground- Okubo, head of the state Health De-
side, a rerouting of Maakua Stream been altered with bridges, dikes, sucked the whole thing up. At the end water reservoirs because in addition partment’s water quality monitoring di-
jumped its man-made bank after dams and channels, Chow said. While of the day, the beach at Kailua was to flooding, there were periods of vision, said he has a simple credo
heavy rain March 8 and ran down these engineering feats might work clean. You saw very quickly the “long-term, steady rain.” regarding his role of protecting public
Hauula Homestead Road, driving under ordinary rainfall, when heavy ecosystem services you get out of That is good for long-term water health: Rely on data.
neighbors to use sandbags, boards, rain comes, “water’s going to jump that wetland. supplies, even though ground-water “We have to have a good reason why
concrete blocks and even cars to di- the bank somewhere,” he said. “Waikiki used to look like that,” Pol- levels that dropped to record lows be- we post a beach (as closed),” he said.
vert floodwater from their homes. Still, periodic storms remove sedi- hemus said. “You had a big wetland tween 2000 and 2004 have since Here is how Okubo explained when,
>> Water stored in Kauai’s Ka Loko ment from streams, leaving “boulders behind the beach that we’ve recovered to normal lev- where and why contaminated-water
Reservoir became a deadly torrent nice, smooth and clean, which allows turned into real estate.” els, he said. signs were posted for the 48-million-gal-
when it breached the dam March 14, freshwater algae to grow on them,” Re-creating at least some WEATHER lon sewage spill that began after a main
killing seven people and destroying Heacock said. That algae is the basic wetland buffer zone is a key ADVISORY sewer line broke March 24 during heavy
homes downstream. food of oopu, fish that are found component of Chow’s Ala rain:
>> Some residents of Maunalaha
and Manoa valleys saw their pic-
nowhere else in world.
Fresh water flowing into the ocean
Wai Watershed flood con-
111 >> March 24: Okubo’s office required
city crews to post signs in affected areas,
turesque homes on steep mountain- triggers juvenile oopu in bays to mi- On Kauai a flyover of The number of flash flood warn- which is routine for a sewage spill. This
sides and near stream beds become grate upstream and breed, said Dan Kauai’s North Shore ings issued by the National Weather included Kaiolu Street, where the leak oc-
danger zones when landslides and Polhemus, administrator of the state shortly after the Service. The warnings — flood- curred, the Ala Wai Canal and Harbor,
mudslides made repeat visits in late Division of Aquatic Resources. The March 14 Ka ing is occuring or will do so the old heliport parking lot (where
March. flushing of the streams also tends to within the hour — were surfers access breaks at the mouth of
>> World-famous Waikiki beaches wash out non-native creatures while issued for 26 days the harbor) and the Magic Island fin-
were temporarily closed by a bacte- making things better for the native during the 43-day ger. The posting locations were based
rial contamination from a mammoth ones, he said. period starting on the estimated amount of the spill at
raw-sewage spill. One man’s death Feb. 19. the time, and ocean currents. City and
and two women’s illnesses might WHEN IT RAINED, IT POURED state officials began daily water quality
have been caused by pathogens in testing at 28 Waikiki surf and beach sites.
the waste water. >> March 26: The city began dumping
Though Waikiki beaches reopened sewage to the Ala Wai Canal to prevent
by April 4, continued poor water qual- backup into Waikiki buildings.
ity in the Ala Wai Canal has prompted >> March 29: Based on a spike in bacte-
canoe clubs that normally use it for ria contamination in water samples ana-
MARCH 31: Renee
workouts to relocate because of lyzed March 28, the beaches fronting the
Miyao inspected a
health concerns for paddlers. Hilton Hawaiian Village and Hale Koa ho-
wall that collapsed
“I think these events reminded peo- tels were closed, and signs were posted.
outside of her
ple that we are susceptible to flooding >> March 30: The city stopped dump-
and other kinds of disaster,” said ing sewage into the canal.
on Punahou Street.
Derek Chow, a U.S. Army Corps of En- >> April 2: Additional beaches
gineers senior project manager on fronting the Halekulani, Sheraton and
a canal that
Oahu. “Nothing like a good flood to Moana hotels were closed and signs
get everybody’s attention.” posted, based on increased bacterial
Already, new flood-control studies levels.
Stream. Some of
are being planned for Kaaawa, Wai- >> April 4: All beaches were reopened
the water rushed
ahole and Waikane, Chow said. And after bacterial levels decreased; the Ala
through the area
ongoing projects to improve flood Wai Canal and Harbor remain posted.
where Miyao is
control in Kahuku, Laie, Hawaii Kai, Monitoring continues.
Aina Haina and the Ala Wai Water- City officials also defend their actions.
shed should get a boost as well, he “On those first few days, everything was
said. going out to deep water so there was no
In the weeks since the Ka Loko dis- high bacteria count near the shore,” city
aster, the state government that had spokesman Bill Brennan said. “The
inspected not one dam since 2004 as- counts near the beach didn’t warrant
sisted in thorough inspections of ev- the posting of signs, according to the
ery dam in the state. DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM Health Department.”
STAR-BULLETIN / SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2006 • F5
43 DAYS: DOWNPOURS. DEATH. DESTRUCTION.
WATER LOG: PHOTOS OF THE DELUGE
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
MARCH 2: Six inches to a foot of water covered Kamehameha Highway in front of Kualoa Ranch. MARCH 4: Nicki Olarti, below right, helped clean up the Kaaawa
farm of her parents, Dawn and Jerome Nozawa, as Sally the donkey poked around in the front yard. The farm, which houses the animals for Nozawa’s Ark
petting zoo, was hit by a mudslide.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
KEVIN HALSE / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-BULLETIN CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
MARCH 31: The rain ruined many vacations as water backed up on Kalakaua Avenue MARCH 13: A van was crushed after high winds toppled utility poles
in front of the Waikiki Outrigger Hotel. along Farrington Highway in Nanakuli.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 2006 FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2006 SUNDAY, MARCH 19, 2006
F6 • S T A R - B U L L E T I N / S U N D A Y, A P R I L 1 6 , 2 0 0 6 • F7
Rain: Floods raise
questions about 4 3 DAY S : D OW N P O U R S. D E AT H . D E S T R U C T I O N .
Continued from F1
But some observers say the rains of
’06 should prompt a broad discussion
about where and how development
For 43 days Hawaii was battered by rain. Hawaii wasn’t even a state the last time weather
conditions conspired to deal the islands such a lashing. Here’s how it happened: 1910 1920 1930
1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
County governments need to “look
hard” at residential zoning laws and MORE RAIN ON THE WAY?
regulations that allow homes to be
Data compiled by state climatologist Pao-shin Chu of the
built in flood zones or at the base of
mountains weakened by development, 1 A low-pressure system, or “low,” at left, moves into the
middle of the Pacific west of Hawaii in mid-February. 2 The low’s counterclockwise spin and strong
winds pull warm, moist air from the South 3 Held in place by adjacent weather systems, including
a high-pressure system (above) north of Hawaii that University of Hawaii shows how rainfall levels follow roughly
three-decade cycles. These fluctuations are plotted against the
said Maj. Gen. Robert Lee, who over- Such systems normally soon move on and dissipate, but Pacific and push it toward Hawaii. The moisture blocked the moisture’s northern movement, the low flings 11-year mean rainfall total. His research indicates the most
sees the state’s civil defense.
this one is held in place by a worldwide gridlock in turns into rain showers as it encounters cooler air one heavy rainstorm after another at the islands through- recent cycle might have bottomed out in the year 2000 and that
“On the North Shore (of Oahu), new
weather systems, a situation known as a further north near Hawaii. out March and into early April until global weather an era of increased rainfall might have begun.
homes are going up in flood zones
right now,” he said. “blocking.” Blocking occurs once or twice systems start to move again. Source: Journal of Climate, 2005. “Interannual and Interdecadal Rainfall Variations
in the Hawaiian Islands.”
As time goes on and land becomes a year and normally lasts a week to
scarce, pressure to build in more haz- 10 days. This one endured for an
ardous areas is likely to grow, Lee said.
“We see mountains get cut and then unheard-of six weeks. OAHU AND KAUAI SOCKED BY RAIN … … BUT OTHER ISLANDS ALSO DRENCHED
homes are built right at the base, and
then you wonder why water is coming Rain gauges around the state, especially on Kauai and Oahu, recorded Although Kailua and Oahu took the brunt of the bad weather,
into your living room,” he said. historic rainfall levels. Totals are in inches. One asterisk (*) denotes a all islands were affected.
The floods serve as “a wake-up call March record, and two asterisks (**) represent a record for any month.
that we need a different paradigm for Some gauges were installed only in the early 1990s. AREA MARCH NORM PCT. OF NORM
planning, one that is more sensitive to
sustainable development and appropri-
Waikii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.08 2.90 417%
ate use of the land,” said Dr. Karl Kim, Hanalei Mountain View . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40.47 19.60 206%
chairman of the University of Hawaii’s MARCH ** 28.82 Hilo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26.41 14.40 183%
Department of Urban & Regional Plan- NORMAL 13.40 Glenwood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43.28 20.10 215%
ning. PCT. OF NORM 215% Pahala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . * 31.01 6.30 492%
FOR EXAMPLE, Kim notes that na- Moloaa Maui
ture has a way of managing runoff by Wailuku . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.06 3.60 252%
trapping water in ponds or lakes which NORMAL 6.20 Mahinahina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15.63 5.50 284%
trickles down to replenish aquifers. PCT. OF NORM 399% Pukalani . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.77 3.30 205%
But in areas like Manoa, the man- Kula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . * 11.02 2.50 441%
made system is geared toward “getting
as much of that water out of there as
possible” through drainage canals, he
could mean Wailua
Kaupo Gap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41.25
MARCH ** 48.89 Molokai Airport . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.16 3.70 221%
said. When rainfall is extreme, this 8.10
NORMAL Makapulapai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.68 6.10 175%
leads to what happened on March 31 — 604%
PCT. OF NORM Kaunakakai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . * 8.59 1.80 477%
when Manoa and Makiki streams
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
jumped their banks. Heavy runoff and Lanai
siltation also damage coastal environ- MARCH 14: The dam wall broke at the Ka Loko reservoir at Kileauea, Kauai, releasing a wall Lanai City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14.05 2.90 484%
ments. Mount Waialeale Lihue of water that killed seven people. This is where the water flowed out of the reservoir.
Kim advocates a more “holistic” sys- MARCH 94.30 MARCH ** 36.13
tem of catchments and retention By Dan Martin NORMAL 34.70 NORMAL 3.60
basins that absorbs the shock of flood- firstname.lastname@example.org
PCT. OF NORM 272% PCT. OF NORM 1,004% Poamoho Kahuku FOR MORE INFORMATION
ing while preserving landscapes, MARCH * 17.77 MARCH 29.18 If you want to learn more about
ecosystems and our “precious” water Hail on the Big Island. A twister on NORMAL 5.40 NORMAL 5.30 Hawaii’s recent deluge, you can log on
resources. Lanai. Crumbling dams on Oahu and the repeated downpours waterlogged PCT. OF NORM 329% PCT. OF NORM 551% to the National Weather Service’s Web
“We’ve known for a long time we Kauai. Record rainfall across the the soil in some areas, overtaxing its
site at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.
should be designing with nature, but state. ability to absorb new rains.
we’ve lost that ideal,” he said. If the wild weather of recent weeks “This type of thing is not unprece-
Peter Young, director of the state De- seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime event, dented, but what was really unusual
partment of Land and Natural Re- there is a reason: Experts say the was the duration,” said Nash. Punaluu
sources, agrees and notes that such heavy rain and associated weirdness We were not the only ones to suffer. Port Allen Omao MARCH * 40.31
concepts are in use. Nuuanu Reservoir, were caused by a rare weather sce- Flooding raged in Central Europe as a MARCH 30.08 MARCH ** 35.08 NORMAL 9.10
for example, was once used for water nario that last played out in the is- rain system stayed put there. Texas NORMAL 2.80 NORMAL 5.50 PCT. OF NORM 443%
and irrigation but is now primarily lands 55 years ago. sweltered under a dry spell. Californi- PCT. OF NORM 1,074% PCT. OF NORM 638%
used for flood control. Golf courses in From late February through March, ans suffered from torrential rains of
Ewa and Kapolei serve as drainage the weather systems that normally their own.
basins to mitigate flooding. spin and flow around the globe be- National Weather Service hydrolo- Through the first three months of gests the inclement weather could Palolo
But he says more could be done, came locked in a sort of global traffic gist Kevin Kodama, who tracks rain- 2006, gauges at Lihue Airport and portend a wetter era ahead, said Uni- MARCH 18.86
suggesting use of more parks and soc- jam that kept them in place across fall around the state, said situations Port Allen on Kauai and at Honolulu versity of Hawaii meteorologist Pao- Mililani NORMAL 4.80
cer fields as retention basins. the entire Northern Hemisphere, said like this occurred “once in a career.” Airport had already exceeded normal shin Chu, who also is Hawaii’s state MARCH ** 20.88 PCT. OF NORM 393%
“The long-term issue that we need to Andy Nash, director of operations for “At least that’s the hope. We cer- rain totals for the entire year. climatologist. NORMAL 4.90
start addressing with our island envi- the National Weather Service’s Hono- tainly don’t want to see another like “What happened last month set a Rainfall patterns in the North Pa- PCT. OF NORM 426%
ronment is how we plan and allow de- lulu office. this again,” he said, referring to the new standard,” Kodama said. cific alternate between wet and dry Kaneohe
velopment to occur when it borders Called “blocking,” such gridlock is death and damage around the state. Whereas most of March normally is periods, each lasting roughly 28 MARCH 16.59
MARCH * 15.22
next to nature,” Young said. not uncommon, occurring once or The last time a comparable situa- caressed by tradewinds, there were years, Chu said. Rainfall was higher NORMAL 3.70
“Nature reminds us about who’s in twice a year and causing weather sys- tion occurred here was in March only five days of trades last month, than normal from the mid-1940s to PCT. OF NORM 448%
PCT. OF NORM 609%
charge here. In nature, rocks will fall, tems to overstay their welcome for a 1951, when weather systems fell into against an eye-popping 22 days with the early 1970s, when it fell off to be-
rivers will rise and the forces are real.” week or so before things start moving the same pattern in the Pacific. flash-flood warnings. low-average levels that persisted
So is the damage. again. But this one persisted for an Monthly or all-time rainfall records Nash and his team plan to study through the 1980s and ’90s. Waipio Waimanalo
unheard-of six weeks. were set, many still standing in some what happened and whether there Chu said there are signs the MARCH * 13.84 MARCH * 24.35
LEE SAID at least 600 households For Hawaii this meant that a low- areas of the islands. are ways to spot a recurrence. drought might have bottomed out NORMAL 3.10 NORMAL 3.60
statewide were affected by flooding. pressure system in the western Pa- But last month left its own mark on However, he doubts whether bigger around the year 2000 and has begun PCT. OF NORM 446% PCT. OF NORM 676%
State and county officials have asked cific that would have otherwise the record books. phenomena were at work. The cur- inching back up, though he adds the
the Legislature for $34.4 million in moved on after a few days instead Rainfall at Lihue Airport’s gauge rent La Nina episode might have con- trend will not become clear for sev- Honolulu Airport
emergency funds, and the state has re- stayed put, and on Feb. 19 began reached a record 36.13 inches in tributed to the blocking by weakening eral years. MARCH 16.98
quested a presidential disaster decla- flinging one rainstorm after another March, shattering the old monthly the jet stream, he said, but blaming “It seems like that’s been happen- NORMAL 1.90
ration and corresponding federal aid, at the islands. mark of 22.91 inches, set in December global warming is a stretch. ing that past couple of years — but Manoa
PCT. OF NORM 894%
saying at least $50 million in damage Heavy rain is nothing new here, but 1968. But long-term climate data sug- who knows for sure?” he said. MARCH 28.72 Niu Valley
was done. NORMAL 14.00 MARCH 21.00
Lee expects more homeowners to PCT. OF NORM 205% NORMAL 5.10
come forward and the amount of Source: National Weather Service PCT. OF NORM 412%
needed federal aid to grow.
Honolulu has tallied up $12.5 million
so far in materials, overtime pay for GRAPHIC BY DAVID SWANN AND MICHAEL ROVNER / STAR-BULLETIN
county crews and other costs, a
spokesman said. But remedial work on Maria Lutz, director of disaster serv- “One thing we need as a state to do said John Cummings III, spokesman for “We’re getting to the hurricane sea- year, anticipating rain, he dug a 4-foot- and evacuated everybody but left Moti “It’s a perverse irony. What I see is ters, the sewage episode risked poten- man who lost the most. Bruce Fehring,
Round Top Drive, where landslides ices for the American Red Cross, better is to get the word out to folks Oahu Civil Defense. son. Now is the time to plan ahead,” he deep trench by hand around his prop- and his family because they were fine.” greedy homeowners more concerned tial harm to the state’s golden goose — a farmer and Realtor, lost his daughter,
swamped area homes, and in Palolo Hawaii chapter, said the floods showed that investing in flood insurance “We’re short about 60,000 shelter said. erty to direct mountain storm runoff But it is up to officialdom to set a about saving $1,000 a year — when we tourism — by tarnishing Hawaii’s com- son-in-law, grandson and four friends
Valley could add as much as $10 mil- the need for residents to buy flood in- makes a lot of economic sense,” she spaces, assuming a direct hit. Our re- Neighbors also should talk about into the stream. good example on preparedness by already have the lowest property taxes mitment to the “natural endowment” to the rumbling wall of water let loose
lion each. Work along Makiki Stream surance, whether they live in a flood said. sources on Oahu are limited. We have where water is likely to flow, and plan a “What he did was lead the water that having its own priorities straight, said in the country — than they are about that draws visitors here, Brewbaker by the Ka Loko Dam collapse. To him
also might be necessary. zone or not. a million people. We have 42 fire sta- way to drain water from their proper- came from the mountain, and he took it Bank of Hawaii Chief Economist Paul pumping millions of gallons of sewage said. this was no natural disaster.
The full effect on key industries like Regular homeowner’s policies and ONLY 6 PERCENT of Oahu homes af- tions, 17 or 18 ambulances. It’s a drop ties, officials said. straight to the river instead of coming Brewbaker, who calls it “ludicrous” onto the beaches,” Brewbaker said. “Our stewardship of the land is criti- “What occurred was not an act of na-
tourism and farming will take even hurricane insurance do not cover fected by the rains had such coverage, in the bucket.” One Kahaluu family dodged calamity right through the house,” said his sister, that the city is still considering prop- cal. (The sewage incident) is just one ture; it was a failure of man … the fail-
longer to gauge. flooding, she said. The National Flood Lutz said. On Kauai nobody had the in- He advised residents to create disas- by doing just that. Faaki Alatini Richter, speaking on Ala- erty tax breaks even after the city IN ADDITION to the tragic death of part of a big complex of things that we ure of a dam conceived and built by
The responsibility for preparedness Insurance Program, meanwhile, fea- surance, she said. ter supply kits, using the “Disaster Pre- Moti Alatini grows breadfruit, sweet tini’s behalf because he speaks only sewage spills spotlighted the need for Oliver Johnson, who died from a se- need to be investing in and have fallen man and which was legally mandated
is a shared one, however, and govern- tures affordable rates and even covers Oahu has been lucky that it has paredness Guide” in the front of their potatoes and other crops on his 2-acre Tongan. “The water was 4 feet high in greater investment in the leaky sys- vere bacterial infection after falling woefully behind in,” he said. to be monitored, maintained and in-
ment cannot do it all. landslides. never suffered a direct hurricane hit, phone books. farm near Waiahole Stream. Earlier this the area. The city and county came in tem. into fouled Ala Wai Boat Harbor wa- Those sentiments are shared by the spected by man.”
RAINFALL TOTALS TO THE MAX AVERAGE DAILY RAINFALL
Kauai IN INCHES
The highest reading for any single rain guage
on Oahu and Kauai beginning Feb. 19.
12.73 Oahu Kauai
2.96 5.87 5.79 5.81 5.75 4.33 5.30 5.57
4.96 4.78 4.57 5.16
4.35 4.18 4.48 1.20 4.08
3.26 3.18 3.54 3.63 3.48 3.17
2.57 0.21 2.56 0.75 2.89 2.44 1.45 2.59 2.90 0.71 1.78
0.26 0.16 2.31 2.02
1.47 1.69 1.87 1.91 1.87 1.48 1.47 1.38 0.32 1.41 1.43 1.29 0.91 1.67 1.23
1.18 0.73 0.75 0.95 1.01 1.10 1.12 0.75 0.72 0.50 1.07 0.53
0.34 0.18 0.80 0.19 0.16 0.10 0.61
FEBRUARY 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 MARCH 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 APRIL 1 2
HIGHLIGHTS OF 43 DAYS OF RAIN
FEB. 19: Heavy rain FEB. 21: Heavy MARCH 2: Dozens of MARCH 3: Multiple MARCH 8: Homes MARCH 12: High MARCH 14: Seven MARCH 16: Dozens MARCH 19: Heavy rain MARCH 23: A rare MARCH 24: After a heavy rain, MARCH 25: Recur- MARCH 26: Heavy MARCH 28: Some MARCH 30: The MARCH 31: Intense downpour over APRIL 2: State closes additional
hits Oahu, espe- rain and thun- Windward Oahu homes sewer spills are flooded and winds topple 12 people, including a of homes and floods nine Windward tornado touches Waikiki’s main sewer line breaks, ring landslides showers over of Hawaii’s most Ala Wai raw Honolulu inundates homes and Waikiki beaches after water qual-
cially Windward ar- derstorms are flooded after sev- caused by rain residents evac- utility poles onto woman seven some businesses Oahu homes and down on Lanai. and 375,000 gallons of sewage is on Round Top Oahu and Kauai popular beaches sewage spill, businesses; Manoa and Makiki ity testing reveals high bacteria
eas and Waianae, cause minor eral days of torrential dump hundreds of uated on Hau- Farrington Highway months pregnant, are evacuated closes roads heading No one is hurt, spilled over two days; the Ala Drive threaten trigger six are empty as the Honolulu’s streams burst banks, flooding counts; city officials close off a
on what turns out flooding on rain from Waiahole to thousands of gal- ula Homestead in Nanakuli, injuring are swept to their along Kauai’s north. Several other but a construc- Wai Canal and Harbor and homes in Mau- sewage spills. extent of the worst ever, is streets; floodwaters swamp Ka- section of Round Top Drive on
to be the first day roads and in Kahuku. Rain also lons of sewage Road and in two people, damag- deaths after rain- South Shore in homes elsewhere on tion trailer is nearby surf sites are posted with nalaha Valley on Roads, homes Waikiki sewage stopped at hala Mall; about 30 residents flee Oahu after several mudslides; 12
of a 43-day weather neighborhoods causes landslides, cuts into Kaneohe Bay Laie after a ing 17 cars and cut- weakened Ka Loko Koloa after rainfall Oahu also flooded. destroyed. warnings of contaminated water. Oahu. and buildings are spill starts to 48 million homes in Maunalaha Valley near Waimanalo families evacuate
pattern. on Oahu and off roadways, and and other Wind- rainstorm stalls ting power to more Dam collapses in of up to 1 inch per The Big Island is hit Also, strong thunderstorms pelt flooded. The city become evident. gallons. Round Top Drive following large their homes below the Kailua
Kauai. closes schools. Gov. ward Oahu waters, over the area. than 700 people. Kilauea, Kauai. hour in some by heavy rain and Kona, and other parts of Big Is- begins dumping mudslide. Waikiki resident Oliver Reservoir amid fears the rain-
Lingle declares state prompting health spots. minor flooding and land with rare hail. raw sewage into Johnson falls into Ala Wai Harbor, weakened dam could collapse.
disaster. Similar flood- warning. landslides. Ala Wai Canal. contracting a bacterial infection Officials later order the dam
ing occurs a week later. that kills him a week later. breached as a precaution.
STAR-BULLETIN / SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2006 • F8
43 DAYS: DOWNPOURS. DEATH. DESTRUCTION.
WEATHER BRINGS BUSINESS BOOMS AND BUSTS
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
APRIL 1: Employees were busy inside Kahala Mall after heavy rain flooded the shopping center. All the floor tiles inside Radio Shack had to be removed.
Brittany Ruiz, left, gathered damaged tiles while Ivan Nishimura collected wires to be thrown away.
Extra work for some will not dry up quickly
UNEMPLOYMENT By Allison Schaefers still in the planning and infrastruc-
Weather likely reason for spike in jobless claims
Kukui‘ula executives’ primary
Timing is everything. concern was for the safety of its
Just before the heaviest of the employees, many of whom were
By Dave Segal that it’s most likely due to the weather,” 6,800 members was that a lot of work- rain started, Glenn Hirata took off dealing with flooded homes and
email@example.com said Carl Bonham, executive director of ers did not take home full 40-hour pay- a portion of his roof in prepara- fighting rain-drenched and closed
the University of Hawaii Economic Re- checks during the last two months. tion for remodeling his Kailua roads to get to work.
Hawaii might have the lowest unem- search Organization. “The question is Gerald Yuh, business manager for home. “We sent some of them home,”
ployment rate in the nation, at 2.5 per- what will it look like over the next six the 3,200 members of International “Right after I got the roof off, it Holtzman said. “Frankly, if their
cent, but for six weeks starting in weeks, and — if it doesn’t go down — Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Lo- started to rain and the water be- minds were on their homes and
mid-February, state residents lost whether we’re seeing a slowing of job cal 1186, said that from Feb. 22 through gin coming in like a sieve,” said the safety of their families, we
money and work time as heavy rain and growth. But I don’t think we have any March 25, there was a 19 percent aver- Hirata, who had to scurry to put a thought that was where they
flooding disrupted lives and busi- evidence of that yet.” age reduction in work hours for the tarp over the gaps in the roof and should be.”
nesses. While the bad weather could have union’s seven main contractors due to reconfigure his flashings. On the flip side, the demand for
The unusual stretch of inclement lingering affects on tourism and agricul- weather. It took days of aggravation be- companies like Tecseal, which
weather likely was behind a 25.3 per- ture, the construction industry appears Imua Landscaping Co. Inc. foreman fore Hirata was able to com-
cent jump in initial jobless claims dur- to be back in full swing again after expe- Jared Salakielu said work for some of pletely protect his home, but he —————
ing that period, state economists say. riencing some lost days of work. his crew was cut to one or two days considers himself lucky because
Before the onset of the rains, jobless Ronald Taketa, financial secretary over a two-week period. this time, his home did not actu-
“It’s like a domino effect.
claims were down 18.1 percent during and business representative of Hawaii “Work just got backed up those past ally flood — unlike two prior They can’t pour the
the previous six weeks. Carpenters Union Local 745, said the two weeks, but it will all come back,” he rainy seasons.
“You have to go with the obvious most significant effect on his union’s said. All over Hawaii, stories like Hi-
foundation so they can’t
rata’s are costing some con- put up the framing so
sumers and members of the
construction industry money —
they can’t do the
GOLF COURSES but boosting revenues for others. plumbing, the electrical
Roofers, leak specialists and
Damage and lost business double bogey for links mold and mildew removers re-
port that they are the busiest
or the drywall.”
they have ever been, with month- Building Industry Association
By Allison Schaefers West Loch Golf Course, Koolau Golf Golf Course on Kauai fared better than long backlogs. of Hawaii
firstname.lastname@example.org Club, Luana Hills Country Club and Wai- many others, the course had to close However, the inclement weather —————
alae Country Club — reported serious for about eight days and sustained sig- has brought a deluge of negative
Golfers always have a story to tell, damage, ranging from algae growth to nificant losses, said Paul Ito, Puakea effects for landscapers, builders,
but when it comes to how courses flooding and mud-damaged greens. Golf Course director. handymen and most construction specializes in fixing above- and be-
fared during Hawaii’s recent rain of bib- But few could say the rain rose more “We did about 50 percent of our nor- industry trade workers. low-grade leaks, are going through
lical proportions, Olomana Golf Links in than 10 feet high like it did at Olomana mal business,” Ito said. “I really felt bad “It’s like a domino effect,” said the roof, said Rick Todd, Tecseal
Waimanalo might have one of the worst Golf Links on March 31, when the runoff for all the visitors. Normally, it just Karen Nakamura, executive direc- president.
scorecards. spilled over from Kalanianaole Highway doesn’t rain like that.” tor of the Building Industry Asso- “We’ve had a huge upswing in
The course, which was forced to and the Kailua Reservoir. While most Hawaii courses lost busi- ciation of Hawaii. “They can’t business,” Todd said. “We’ve just
close for business from March 26 to Olomana Golf Links, which reopened ness due to the rain, at least one — Ko pour the foundation so they can’t about doubled and we’ve got a
April 7 due to the rain, lost about on Wednesday, does not have flood in- Olina Golf Course, on the dry side of put up the framing so they can’t month-long backlog.”
$60,000 in revenues and sustained surance to recoup the damage and can- Oahu — actually picked up revenue. do the plumbing, the electrical or Jeff Woodring, owner of Algae-
about $40,000 in damage, said Peter not make up for the lost revenue, Though it was closed for nearly two the drywall.” Mildew Busters LLC, said the last
Yamashita, general manager of Olo- Yamashita said. days and sustained weed and algae Still, not all developers suf- 50 to 60 days have been the busi-
mana Golf Links. “Once the day is over you can’t re- overgrowth, March revenues rose, said fered. est that his 6-year-old business
“It’s quite a story,” Yamashita said. coup the losses,” he said, adding that Greg Nichols, Ko Olina Golf Club direc- Kukui‘ula, a 1,500-home project has ever seen.
“We sustained mud damage on three of even now business is slow because tor and general manager. in Kauai, fared well with only neg- “I’m working late every night,
our greens and five fairways, and three clouds are still overhead and people “We got overflow from the other ligible effects from the rain, said and I’ve had to hire someone to
of our holes were completely covered are gun-shy courses,” Nichols said, adding that Ko Dick Holtzman, president of help,” Woodring said. “The rains
with mud.” about getting Olina Golf Club stayed relatively dry be- Kukui‘ula Development Co. have increased mildew problems
Many other courses around the state wet. cause it was designed with elevated “The rain didn’t get us behind to the point that I’ll be fairly busy
— including Kauai’s Wailua Golf Course Though greens and large swales to move water at all,” Holtzman said, counting until it starts to dry out in the
and, on Oahu, the Pali Golf Course, Puakea off the fairways. his blessings that the project is summer.”
WHEN IT RAINED, IT POURED
APRIL 1: Six-year-old
Anama and dad,
WEATHER Ken Anama (not
ADVISORY shown), remove
mud from their
88 driveway at their
The number of special marine warnings home on Nanea
issued by the National Weather Service Street. Heavy rain
during the 43-day period starting Feb. flooded property in
19. The advisory warns of the area
waterspouts and/or surrounding
thunderstorms within 40 miles Punahou, Fern and
of land that can produce wind Nanea streets.
40 mph or greater.
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
STAR-BULLETIN / SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2006 • F9
43 DAYS: DOWNPOURS. DEATH. DESTRUCTION.
STORMS CLOG THE STATE’S ECONOMIC ENGINE
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
MARCH 30: Anne Carroll of Canada could only lie on the beach fronting the Hilton Hawaiian Village as sewage from the Ala Wai Canal contaminated the swim-
ming and surfing areas frequented by the hotel’s guests and locals.
Tourism takes a hit after 43-day deluge
By Allison Schaefers sunny for many of Hawaii’s tourism-de- Still, poor weather, unsafe road con- PRODUCE
email@example.com pendent businesses, most hoteliers, ditions and waters polluted by sewage
wholesale operators and airlines con- have hurt some of Hawaii’s activities
Hawaii’s visitor industry has sur- tinue to report that tourist counts are and attractions even while bringing a Island vegetable and fruit farmers
vived the rain, but adverse publicity holding their own with only limited boost in revenues to others, Kanoho
concerning the 43-day deluge appears damage. said. “Helicopter, boating and water were severely damaged by the rain
likely to put a damper on this year’s The Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach activities took a bit of a dip in busi-
tourism results. Club on Kauai’s Kalapaki Beach was ness, but we’ve heard that spa ser-
By Betty Shimabukuro watercress and head cabbage but
It’s been a season of bad news for the hardest-hit hotel in Hawaii, with 25 vices, the theater, Blockbuster and the
firstname.lastname@example.org that the higher costs were not
the industry. First, heavy rain began in guest rooms still under repair. museum really benefited.”
passed on to consumers.
mid-February, then the Ka Loko Reser- Six inches of rain in four hours on While indoor attractions like the
A visit to the grocery store shows The rain did bring about shortages
voir burst on Kauai killing seven peo- March 11 and 12, overwhelmed storm Bishop Museum have reported an in-
little evidence of shortages due to that simply cannot be filled by a call
ple on March 14, followed by a sewage drains and a ravine, said hotel general creased head count from tourists due
the recent rain. Produce bins seem to a mainland distributor, however.
spill and the potentially related death manager Bill Countryman. Flood water to March rain, outdoor attractions did
well stocked. “It surely has delayed Oahu’s wa-
last week of a man who fell into the flowed into some guest rooms, a not fare as well.
Look a little closer, though. termelon,” Kirkeby said. The sea-
contaminated Ala Wai Boat Harbor. restaurant, and the pool, causing a Visitor counts last month at the
No watermelons. Not much corn. son, which should have begun by
And there were two shark attacks, one rough few days where meals were Polynesian Cultural Center were down
Very few papayas. And that water- now, has been pushed back at least
on Maui in late February, the other on served in a ballroom and guests were some 16 percent from the same time
cress? Probably from California, a month.
Oahu last month. moved to other rooms. last year, said Alfred Grace, senior vice
not Aiea. Also in short supply: yellow corn.
“Almost everyone understands that Last week, though “it’s pretty full president of sales and marketing.
Floyd Mikasa, produce director “In a good, sunny, warm spring, we
you’ll have sharks and rain in a tropi- and business is good,” Countryman Impacts of shifting business have
for Times Super Market, said he has should have beautiful corn for
cal place, but the sewage spill and the said. He added that the rooms, all on trickled down to workers, said Andy
had to fly in items such as local Easter,” Kirkeby said, “but it won’t
beach closures are the biggest story the ground floor in one tower, will be Lee, spokesman for Unite Here Local 5,
greens, Chinese cabbages, green be available for a little while yet.
because they aren’t something that refurbished before summer. Work to the hotel workers union.
onions and parsley that he would That’s big lost sales not only for the
you equate with Hawaii,” said Keith replace the storm drains is under way. “Outdoor workers are making fewer
normally buy locally. farmers, but for us as well.”
Vieira, senior vice president of Hawaii A few properties, such as Aqua Hotels tips because they just don’t have the
Farmers are still determining ex- Tish Uyehara, marketing director
and French Polynesia for Starwood Ho- and Resorts — which lost roughly a usual volume of people at outdoor
actly what they lost to the rain and for the wholesaler Armstrong Pro-
tels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. quarter of its expected revenue as a re- places,” Lee said.
how long it will take them to re- duce, said the problem will not be
Although the visitor industry got off sult of the deluge — and Starwood Ho- On the bright side, indoor food-and-
cover, Mikasa said. For many it was over any time soon.
to a strong start in 2006, this winter’s tels and Resorts, have identified impacts beverage servers reported better-than-
not just a harvest, but also the “There is definitely a shortage, as
rain and other complications will likely from cancellations and postponed trips. average tips, he said.
chance to replant. “It’s a constant well as quality issues with local pro-
cause the year to fall short of 2005’s Others will soon follow suit. ———
cycle, so if you miss a period of 40 duce … all kinds, everything,” she
records, said Frank Haas, director of “We had a fair amount of cancella- Star-Bulletin reporter Tom Finnegan
days, you’re not going to have said. “There are going to be fairly
marketing for the Hawaii Tourism Au- tions in March, and bookings in April contributed to this report.
crops coming up.” large gaps of production as well; it’s
thority. The state welcomed 7.5 mil- and May have been slower. Overall I
He expects it will take 60 to 90 not just the crop that’s in the
lion arrivals and took in $11.5 billion in think we’ll see about a 10 percent
relatively dry days for the situation ground. The effects will be felt for
visitor spending last year. decline in revenues,” Starwood’s
FACTS & FIGURES to return to normal. months to come.”
State officials have allocated more Vieira said.
Patrick Kirkeby, who manages ———
than half a million dollars for programs Despite inclement weather,
designed to maintain the momentum Hawaiian Airlines had fuller 0 produce purchases for Safeway,
said he had to fly in zucchini,
Star-Bulletin staff writer Erika Engle
contributed to this report.
from 2005. However, a state crisis plan flights in March compared Number of Kauai residents
is on hold until sustained sunny skies with the previous year, said affected by the flooding who
return to the Aloha State, Haas said. spokesman Keoni Wagner. had purchased policies under
As the rain continued to fall, the “We haven’t seen any drop BUSINESSES
the National Flood Insurance
state has grappled with the continued in activity or rise in cancella- Program, which covers
impacts of bad weather and subse-
quent bad publicity that spread
tions,” said Amy Terada, vice
president of mar-
flooding and landslides. Six
percent of those affected
Most of Kahala Mall’s many stores
through Hawaii’s major tourism feeder
markets from Europe and Japan to Los
keting for Pleas-
on Oahu purchased it. are open, but theaters remain closed
Source: American Red Cross,
Angeles, Chicago, New York and San LLC, Hawaii’s Hawaii Chapter
Francisco and many points in between. largest travel By Erika Engle spirits. … She was here on a mis-
“Mostly we are concerned about fu- wholesaler. email@example.com sion of assistance; it was more than
ture bookings,” Haas said. “Our arrival just ‘showing face,’” Yoda said.
counts don’t seem to be off.” Kahala Mall is open for business, Assessors are still working on
While call-center volume for tourists WHEN IT RAINED, IT POURED except for the Kahala 8 movie the- damage estimates for the movie the-
tripled throughout the islands during aters, Borders Express and the aters, according to Rachel Saunders,
the ordeal, most visitors chose to Watch Station kiosk. publicist for Consolidated Theatres’
come to Hawaii anyway and few left It is the largest known local busi- parent company, Pacific Theatres
early, said state Tourism Liaison Mar- ness complex with lasting damage Corp. in California. There is no re-
sha Wienert. from extreme rainfall and flooding opening date for the theaters.
However, there is huge concern on on March 31. Saunders said 21 of the 28 mall
Kauai, the state’s hardest-hit island, General Manager Ron Yoda can- theater employees have been reas-
about the next 60 to 90 days, she said. not even guess how much damage signed to other Consolidated the-
“They haven’t lost business, but it the mall suffered. aters, and the rest have decided to
hasn’t picked up at the rate that it nor- “The first priority was to get all “seek other employment.”
mally does, either,” Wienert said. the water out and get it back online, Other businesses, such as Frog
Once rain-related media attention so we’ve been incurring a lot of House Restaurant at 1604 Kalakaua
winds down, the state will kick off a pub- work and, I’m sure, a lot of dollars,” Ave., also continue to suffer.
lic relations campaign that will target Yoda said. “We aren’t at that point The restaurant closed the day of
the top 20 U.S. feeder markets to Hawaii. yet where we’re adding up all the the flooding and the next day, and
The campaign, expected to cost less dollars.” closed again Tuesday for another
than $100,000, will also seek spots on He said he imagines that many if round of cleaning due to a bad
“Good Morning America” and the “To- not most tenants are in a similar sit- smell that had developed.
day” show, said Sue Kanoho, executive uation, but “at some point we might The eatery’s refrigerator and wa-
director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau. get a cumulative number.” ter heater, damaged in the flood,
The Hawaii Tourism Authority also Mall officials have been talking have been repaired twice. Each day
has transferred $550,000 in emergency with the U.S. Small Business Admin- of closure costs $2,000 to $2,500,
funds from leftover budget items to be istration about assistance. and losses of spoiled food and
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.
used for recovery and to boost whole- In her tour earlier this month soggy supplies have Manager
sale travel and airline business. MARCH 16: James Bashford, Aaron Antone and Ali Nakasono kept on dry through the devastated mall, Gov. Rocky Lim estimating damage and
While business has not been exactly ground at a Kahuku bus stop. Linda Lingle “lifted everybody’s losses at more than $6,000.
STAR-BULLETIN / SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2006 • F10
43 DAYS: DOWNPOURS. DEATH. DESTRUCTION.
THE GARDEN ISLAND SUFFERS WORST LOSSES
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
APRIL 6: Some efforts have been made to clear debris three weeks after the Ka Loko Dam break that turned Wailapa Stream into a raging torrent. Here, a large
Java Plum tree remains in the pool at Ben Guevara’s home, which is near the stream. The water carried away part of his house and flooded the rest. Carpet
cleaners have been in the home trying to get rid of the damp and mold.
Destruction, death leave lasting scars
By Tom Finnegan barrage.”
firstname.lastname@example.org Fehring and his neighbors were
quick to credit the amazing job of
KA LOKO DAM
KILAUEA, Kauai >> Much of the Gar- emergency personnel involved in the
Pflueger in no hurry to rebuild reservoir
den Island is recovering from the rain search efforts. But they worry that as
of February and March as the sun time moves on and the rest of the is-
dries out the land, roads are repaired lands clean up, they will be forgotten.
and wave action clears an ocean “It’s going to take years for this to
fouled by runoff and debris. By Tom Finnegan gating the cause of the breach, and Pflueger and Ki- rectify itself,” said Hawthorne.
It will be months, however, before email@example.com lauea Irrigation Co. have been subpoenaed for rec- While many others on Kauai worried
the North Shore of Kauai is back to ords relating to the dam and the reservoir. about a possible breach elsewhere,
normal, while small pockets of Kilauea, KILAUEA, Kauai >> James Pflueger, the owner of Ka Pflueger also told the Star-Bulletin that the people state and federal engineers checked
especially those near Wailapa Stream, Loko Dam, said that if it’s up to him, he won’t rebuild relying on the water to feed their crops are the same the dams across the county and con-
will never be the same. it. ones accusing him of diverting water and doing work cluded they were safe.
Wailapa Stream was a gentle water- But 20 farmers, growing mostly organic fruits in the to his mauka lands without a permit.
way, snaking its way through back Waiakalua subdivisions near Kilauea, get water from “I need this reservoir like I need a whole in the PEOPLE IN KOLOA were especially
yards, orchards and farms along Wai- the Ka Loko Reservoir that breached March 14. head,” he said last week. The organic farmers, worried, since the Waita Dam mauka
lapa Road. The water comes from a pipeline run by Kilauea Ir- “they’re the ones out to get (me). These guys want to of the south shore town is the largest
But just after 5 a.m. March 14, the rigation Co. kill me and blame me for everything.” reservoir in the state. But reservoir
dam of a reservoir many Kilauea resi- They say that the county water system cannot han- Pflueger and his property manager, Gordon Rosa, owner Alexander & Baldwin assured
dents did not even know was there dle their water needs, and, even if it could, it would deny that any work was done to divert streams in residents at a town hall meeting that
gave way with the force of nearly a be cost-prohibitive to do so. mauka lands. all was safe.
half-billion gallons of water, gathering County, state and federal politicians have pledged The reservoir was first built by Kilauea Sugar Co. to Kauai Civil Defense Administrator
momentum as it traveled downhill and to support those farmers relying on Ka Loko, and U.S. supply thousands of acres growing sugar. It was built Mark Marshall said that the flooding
leaving a 150-yard-wide swath of de- Sen. Daniel Inouye announced recently that he has se- into what is believed to be its current height, 34 feet, that enveloped the whole island was a
struction all the way to Kahili Quarry cured $3 million in federal funds to repair and rebuild in 1913, according to Kilauea Sugar records kept by relatively rare event.
Beach. the irrigation system and to remove debris caused by the Kauai Historical Society. The company stopped While Lihue Airport received 10
the breach. growing sugar in the 1970s. times its average rainfall for the month
IN ITS PATH were two homes on But Pflueger, owner of a majority of the reservoir, The rest of the reservoir was bought by Pflueger’s of March, the National Weather Ser-
Bruce Fehring’s property where seven said the 116-year-old water feature is an albatross grandmother, Mary Lucas, between 1895 and 1915, vice has still not pinpointed whether
people lived: Fehring’s daughter, Au- now. and is held in a trust, of which Pflueger is one of the the rain on Kauai was a once-in-50-year
rora; son-in-law, Alan Dingwall; 2-year- The state attorney general’s office has been investi- beneficiaries. or once-in-100-year event, Marshall
old grandson, Rowan said.
Fehring-Dingwall; and friends Christina Either way, he said, he was proud of
Macnees, her fiance, Daniel Arroyo, the response by county, state and fed-
property caretaker Wayne Rotstein, eral officials. It was also the first time
and Macnees and Arroyo’s best friend, leaving only rebar in its wake. The “We are trying to do a little bit” of state, the owners of the dam or those the Emergency Operations Center was
Timothy Noonan. land has been stripped to its bedrock the cleanup, Guevara said, “but so responsible for its maintenance could used to its full potential.
They never had a chance. To date, in places. many government officials are telling have helped cause the breach. The center gives emergency work-
four bodies remain missing. The islands are 4 million years old, us to wait” until it is inspected by dis- Another Wailapa Stream resident, ers a tremendous advantage over the
The dam breach instantly became Fehring noted. “In some areas, vegeta- aster officials. John Hawthorne, remembers the Ana- days of Iniki, which killed two Kauai
Kauai’s deadliest weather-related tion, lush vegetation, will take 4 million hola Flood in 1991, which killed four residents and four other people.
calamity, surpassing even 1992’s Hur- years maybe” to grow back. IT’S THE MOSQUITOES and the people. The March 14 dam breach With real-time data and links to nu-
ricane Iniki. His neighbors, while still reeling stench that really get to Guevara, he “was a hundred times worse,” he said. merous services not previously avail-
“A lot of that debris and the bodies from the loss of life, are trying to get said. He and his wife cannot stay in Hawthorne, a plumber and machin- able, the center was operational on
were very quickly swept away,” some semblance of their lives back af- their home. ist by trade, said he still wakes up ev- and off from Feb. 20, when the first
Fehring said last week. “I don’t want ter the tragedy. Meanwhile, claims by Fehring and ery day at 5:20 a.m., when the waters flash-flood warning was posted,
anyone else to go through this.” Ben Guevara, Fehring’s neighbor, Guevara to their insurance companies woke him up. He said he and many of through the end of March. It had as
He added that he has hiked the half- lost a chunk of his home when the de- have been denied, saying that the his neighbors are in counseling be- many as 100 people working through
mile to what used to be a small water- bris came through. A 3-foot-wide tree breach was an act of God. cause of the tragedy. the worst of the flooding, making sure,
fall and concrete-lined pond to look for sits in what is left of his pool. Fehring said, however, it was a “fail- “You can’t imagine the noise of all first of all, that people were safe.
evidence of his family’s home. There are no remnants of his koi ure of man.” this stuff,” he said. “It sounded like a “It’s hard for the government to do
“I can’t find any pieces of it,” he pond. The state attorney general’s of- walking anything quick,” Marshall said, “but in
added. And he had carpet cleaners in his fice is investigating the dam artillery this case we even surprised our-
The concrete pond was ripped away home for a week trying to get rid of the breach, trying to find selves.”
by the force of the water and debris, damp and mold that are accumulating. out whether the
38 WHEN IT RAINED, IT POURED
The number of rain gauges around the state
monitored by the National Weather Service
whose readings last month set all-time or
March records, based on preliminary data.
Most gauges were installed only in the early
1990s, but some date back more than a half-
century. They include:
AREA TOTAL PREVIOUS YEAR
WETTEST MONTH EVER
Lihue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36.13 22.91 1968
WETTEST MARCH EVER
Pahala . . . . . . . . . . . 31.01 28.93 1980
Punaluu . . . . . . 40.31 35.21 1920
Waimanalo . . 24.35 19.43 1963
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
APRIL 6: Debris removed from the shallow pools at Lydgate Park was
stacked on the beach, allowing residents and visitors a chance to swim.
The debris was washed into the ocean by flooding caused by the rain.
STAR-BULLETIN / SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2006 • F11
43 DAYS: DOWNPOURS. DEATH. DESTRUCTION.
WATER LOG: PHOTOS OF THE DELUGE
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
MARCH 16: Nestor Madads, left, cleared debris and rocks above the entrance to the Honolulu-bound lanes of the Wilson Tunnel. MARCH 31: Tantalus residents
stood in shock as a wall of volcanic mud slid down onto Maunalaha Road. The mud blocked the road and half-buried a home. Pete Asuncion, right, called a
friend after finding his neighbor’s cars under the mudslide.
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
MARCH 16: Cleanup workers trudged through mud and debris downstream from Morita Dam in Kilauea, Kauai, where a wall of water swept through when the
Ka Loko Dam broke two days earlier.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 2006 SATURDAY, APRIL 1, 2006