Storm damage on Kauai

SUBHEAD: Rain storms have done more damage this spring to our north shore than in more than a generation.

By Juan Wilson on 24 April 2018 for Island Breath -
Image above: Only public road along the north shore of Kauai in Waikoko is obliterated by landslide west of Hanalei Bay.  Click to enlarge. Still image from video below.

Living in Kauai on the south side of Kauai we have missed he destruction of storms that destroyed much of the communities and infrastructure on our north shore. The impact has been tremendous for residence there; homes destroyed and roads wiped away.

As much suffering as this has caused and the long term difficulties that will linger, there is a thin silver lining in the darkened clouds.
The army of tourists in rented cars making the obligatory daily pilgrimage to Kee Beach crowding the roads, overflowing the parking lots and trampling the land has been temporarily halted.

When the roads are repaired and northshore tourism resumes we hope it is under new circumstances that would restrict tourist cars from anywhere west of Hanalei Bay. There was a feeble attempt to due this in the recent pass, but the will to disappoint tourists simply collapsed.

Here on the south shore we have noticed traffic through Hanapepe has increased significantly since last spring. Some of this is due to more rush hour traffic, presumably from the GMO companies and the PMRF (Pacific Missile Range Facility). We have a regular weekday 3pm eastbound rush hour never seen before.

Moreover, our local county beach, Salt Pond Beach Park, has been overrun by tourists since for over six months. This is certainly been in part because of the destruction of subtropical vacation destinations in the Caribbean.

In the last hurricane season there were 5 category-five storms that destroyed beaches, resorts, roads and much of amenities that attracted visitors. Puerto Rico is still suffering from island-wide blacked-outs. And here comes another hurricane season.

There seems to have been a bit of a campaign to make Salt Pond a heavier used visitor destination as well. Salt Pond is now rated online as a top beach for tourists. This take may take some pressure of totally overrun Poipu Beach Park and other crowded locations, but it is has unanticipated effects.

Salt Pond has historically been a "local" beach used as an outdoor living/rec room for many local families from the westside. Birthdays, weddings, graduation parties, spear-fishing surf-casting, BBQs and minding the kids and just kicking back with a beer after work has been the usage.

There is also and tradition of people temporarily living in tents (mixed with tourist camping) that helps transition (some people I've known) through a job loss, breakup or other temporary difficulty.

Anyway, I continue to hope jet plane enabled mass tourism to Hawaii ceases for two primary reasons. Is is destroying Kauai and it is destroying the atmosphere.

I have not flown to the mainland in several years and have no plans to start again.

Video above: Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources damage assessment of storm damage on several videos of the North Shore of Kauai. For more videos visit Vimeo site (


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