Kauai Flood Update
Many visitors want a Kauai flood update. Indeed, last weekend’s flood prompted some of our guests to call and ask if our food tours are still operating, specifically on the north shore. The answer is yes. We start in Hanalei and end in Princeville and the damage to Kuhio highway is about 10 minutes north of where we are. We’ve had a few people cancel because of the Kauai flood, but I encourage you to honor your visit.
Most of the island is ok and many of the businesses need your support. If you’re not visiting but would like to help, I’ve listed some ways you can donate. Tasting Kauai regularly donates to the Hawaii Food Bank – Kauai Branch. Because of the Kauai flood, this quarter we donated to three farms that were severely damaged: MY Kauai Honey; Kealia Farm and Haraguchi Rice Mill. I also received an update from Malama Kauai, who has been very active in helping the community recover.
Kauai thanks you for your support, especially in these tough times!
Hanalei Taro & Juice Co.
You know that gorgeous taro patch along Hanalei River? It’s just to your left as you drive north and cross Hanalei Bridge then go into Hanalei town. That’s the Haraguchi farm, which was severely damaged. Lyndsey Haraguchi asked me to help raise awareness by spreading the word. She says updates are @HanaleiTaro (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). Also, you can go online to make 501c(3) nonprofit tax deductible donations HaraguchiRiceMill.org.
On the East Side, Adam Asquith maintains a 40-acre taro farm, which was a part of our tour for several years. He also rents the land to vegetable farmers and beekeepers. Here’s what Adam has to say:
KealiaFarm, is a community of farmer’s on the eastside of Kauai that collectively farm about 100 acres in kealia valley. We provide everything from wetland taro to small poi millers and processors, to fruits and vegetables to local farm markets and restaurants.
We are a collection of 15 farming families, including recent Thai and Chinese immigrants , to Hawaiians who have been on this land for a thousand years. we derive most if not all of our income from our farms and provide a significant portion of Kauai grown food that our island consumes
The recent flooding devastated kealia, we lost tractors, excavators, bulldozers, trucks all of our vegetable crops and many live stock. some of our farmer’s lost everything and will have no significant income for 3 to 6 months.
There is virtually no Federal assistance for these small farmer’s that provide local foods, we are asking for your help in funding to clean up flood debris, repair roads and irrigation, and repair equipment so these farmer’s can begin to rebuild and replant as soon as possible.
In addition to Kealia Farms, Kaiaulu Papaloa, an area non-profit, is partnering with the farm and the larger East Kauai Community, to raise funds to address damage done by the recent floods. With volunteers we are helping people to connect to agency services, set up a staging area at the Kealia Farms to collect supplies for cleaning and food, assessing basic damages to the environment from Kealia to Wailua, and helping to organize cleanups in the watershed, coastline, and community as necessary. Needless to write, funding is needed to do much of this work.
We humbly ask for your kokua in helping our communities in East Kauai (Kealia to Wailua). Mahalo piha!
For more information & assistance please call:
Adam Asquith @ 808-635-8290 (Kealia Farms/Donations)
Kahea Tylor @ 808-346-2674 (KEO Person’s In-Need Fund For Flood Relief In-take/Donations)
Aunty Lihue Kinimaka Lopez @ 808-635-5091 (Supplies/Food/Donations)
Kamealoha Hanohano Smith @ 808-212-4356 (Clean-up/Fundraising)”
You can donate at the Kealia Farm Go Fund Me site.
MY Kauai Honey
Beekeeper Michael Yulo nearly lost his life but a 50-gallon bucket of his honey saved his life. Here’s his wife, Kristine’s, Facebook account of what happened:
“Sunday morning April 15 2018 Kauai’s MY Kauai Honey Farm at Kealia has flooded over in a matter of minutes. 6 to 8 feet of water washed away all the bees: hives, honey house, and work truck. Uncle Mike, owner and beekeeper, almost lost his life when he went to go get what honey he had left knowing it may flood over at Kealia. This is the second time he lost his bees. Last year in February, he lost all his bee hives up Waimea due to a raging fire believed to have been caused by an arson. By fire or by flood, Uncle Mike continues to have faith and trust that God will continue to provide. Last Sunday, after loading his truck and driving out, a wall of water lifted the back of his truck washing it into an irrigation ditch and sweeping the front of his truck into the ditch causing it to fill up with water. He was able to escape by rolling his window down and crawling out of the window as it was rapidly filling the cab with water. He was able to hold on to the truck by standing at the back of the truck bed and lowered himself to the embankment and seeing the water continues to rise, he grabbed a 50 lb bucket of honey to hold him down from sweeping away as a gush of water quickly filled the area he was in. That extra 50 lbs helped hold him down as he waded in the water (up to his chest) to walk to higher ground and keep him from floating away with the current. That water quickly rose to 8 feet sweeping away and submerging his truck entirely under water along with his bee house and all his harvesting equipment. Uncle Mike praises God every moment for watching over him. He is asking for your prayers and believe that God will help him recover from this disaster. Please help this loving man recover his bee business. You can help us by supporting him at his markets at Anahola and Kealia. Any support is much appreciated. 100 percent of your love offering will go to rebuilding MY Kauai Honey’s bee farm.”
San Francisco Chronicle
Jeanne Cooper, a Hawaii travel specialist who writes for the SFC spoke with Sue Kanoho, of the Kauai Visitors Bureau. Her story “Kauai Floods: What Travelers Need to Know” acknowledges that the all of the island is open for business, except the North Shore from Waikoko (the north end of Hanalei Bay) to Kee.
“Community-based organizers across the island are stepping into leadership positions in every corner, things are getting more organized by the day, and the outpouring of support from the ohana of Kauai and across the world has been inspiring and overwhelming. A daily update and press release will be sent out every morning and posted to Malama Kauai’s Facebook group page, provided directly by leads in each community.
Volunteers are recommended to take action on the below needs, connect within their moku on the Malama Kauai Volunteers Facebook group, and follow updates provided on Malama Kauai’s Facebook page as well as those provided directly by their neighbors. Please see the morning update for contacts of the day.
As of this time the following are the updates from the ground as to the most important needs, and updates are being provided live as we are able. There is an immense amount of activity happening on the ground, so please stay posted to the best contacts and methods for your requests and be patient with response requests.
Wainiha seems to have been hit the hardest and has been the most remote location to deliver supplies to. The community has been requesting air drops from government since Saturday and many boats and boating companies are supporting this mainly all-volunteer effort. Places in Wainiha for families to do laundry are also needed; please stay tuned tomorrow for updates. Their wish list needs are extensive for clearing and rebuilding.
In Haena, the community has organized a food pantry at YMCA Haena food pantry, which is open from 9am to 4pm daily. Breakfast and dinner is being served at Opakapaka at Hanalei Colony Resort in Haena every day. Locations in Haena for families to do laundry are needed and being organized; point of contact will be identified tomorrow and posted – any unused vacation rentals or others willing to help should reach out to a contact which will be identified soon..
Hanalei has opened a communications center and organizing hub – Kokua Kauai Halelea Center. Many things are going on, including volunteer and service opportunities. Volunteers should report to Hanalei Courthouse starting at 10am Sunday & 8am Monday; and wear rain boots and gloves. Limited supply on island. Cleanup crews are also being deployed out to Wainiha and Haena starting tomorrow. Volunteers for staffing are needed to distribute boots, and complete entry of needs assessment forms. There is also an ongoing need for trucks to help families haul trash. There is also a Waioli Huiia Church clean-up on Monday, April 23rd from 10am to 3pm.
Boat transportation will be continuing, focusing on pickups from Hanalei Pavilion dock, bringing supplies to Wainiha at 10, 12 and 2 pm until air drops can be facilitated. Boats interested in helping in this effort today can check in at Hanalei Pavilion.
Hanalei Courthouse is serving dinners every day at 5pm. 300+ lunches to the workforce and community from Haena to Kalihiwai are being prepared and delivered every day.
ATVs, ATUs and mules for Haena and Wainiha community teams assisting other families. There is a sign-up sheet for those interested in supplying equipment online or in-person at Hanalei Courthouse.
Malama Kauai at Anini is reorganizing their efforts, enhancing staffing, and later in the day, relocating. On Sunday, volunteers are needed at 7am with laptops for communications hub, and at 8am onward for loading first boat, and for moving (flatbeds). The first boat will be leaving Anini around 10am headed to Wainiha.
On Sunday afternoon, Malama Kauai will be relocated from their Anini boat dock hub to Secret Beach Organics for expanded operations to operate their communication offices and distribution hub with storage containers. They will reopen on Monday, with public hours of 12noon to 4:30pm for larger supply drop offs and deliveries, and 9am other. Volunteers are welcome to attend a morning piko and orientation at 8am if they would like to assist with various tasks throughout the day. More info will be announced tomorrow.
In Kalihiwai, the community has been executing cleanup efforts and helping those whose homes have been affected. Cleanup efforts continue on an ongoing basis and the community is taking time to reorganize, update, and communicate current needs.
In Kealia, farmers got together at Kealia Farms for a clean-up on Sunday, April 22nd from 12-3pm. Trucks are needed for dump runs, heavy equipment to move earth, chainsaws, and other tools. Wear gloves and boots as many locations across island are sold out.
Anahola is getting reorganized and will provide an update after Sunday’s workday at Kealia Farms. They are coordinating various details including food pantry site and supply drop-off sites, TBD.
In Koloa, several community efforts are taking place and a community-identified point of contact is still trying to be identified by our team.
The Hawaii Food Bank is closed on Sunday and their warehouse is full for deployments of food to key leaders in the effective areas beginning Monday. They will begin accepting donations again 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday.
HA Coffee will also be open on Monday as a town center hub for non-food supply drop offs and pickups that can be re-routed north for distribution.
Upcoming Work Parties are being posted on the Malama Kauai Volunteers Facebook group – please connect with each other and organize. We will keep putting the call out for help!
The community wants to share the deepest aloha for everyone’s kokua, donations, and resources. Monetary donations will be distributed to community groups as needed through Hawaii Community Foundation’s Kauai Disaster Relief Fund or made directly online at malamakauai.org.”
Whew! Mahalo Megan Fox and your team at Malama Kauai for all you’re doing.
We appreciate any support you can give, even if it’s a silent prayer. And if you have plans to visit Kauai, please keep them =)