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Hurricane Lane Causes Floods & Landslides In Hawaii, More Rain On The Way

In Hawaii, what Hurricane Lane lacked in intensity, it more than made up for in rain as residents are still feeling the effects of the storm. The hurricane dumped 52.02 inches of rain on the islands last week, the second highest rainfall total from a tropical cyclone in the US since 1950, according to data from the National Weather Service (NWS). Lane comes in after Harvey, which dropped 60.58 inches on Nederland, Texas last year.

Hawaii's Big Island, the easternmost island in the chain, was hit the hardest. Many residents had to be evacuated, while others in Hilo and Keaau, had to be rescued as roads were closed by floods and landslides, the NWS said. The state is under a flash flood watch through Tuesday.

"Trailing deep tropical moisture left over from Lane will bring the potential for additionally heavy rainfall through Tuesday," the National Weather Service advised Sunday afternoon. "Any additional heavy rainfall over these already highly saturated grounds could quickly lead to flash flooding."

The NWS warned that runoff could create dangerous conditions on many roads, making it impossible for cars to get through. Debris in streams and gulches could also clog bridges and culverts, which may lead to flooding, the NWS reported.

Via Chicago Tribune

In April, a landslide caused by heavy rains blocked the road to Hunter Ewald's home on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The road was finally opened two weeks ago, however, in recent days, brown floodwater has inundated the lower level of Ewald's two-story residence.

Ewald, 24, said the rain started on Sunday with floodwater entering the house, which he shares with eight other family members, on Monday after the nearby Waiola Stream overflowed. "It went through my room, the bathroom, and whole downstairs area. It's considered a stream, but it's bigger than some rivers," Ewald said.

Video footage showed the water dragging shoes and other belongings down the steps like a waterfall. The water remained stagnant for two or three hours. "It's gone down a lot but there's a river going through my yard now that wasn't there before -- so that's there."

Despite the damage, the family is planning on staying in the area. "If we leave we might get hit by a landslide or might get stuck. There's a lot of rain. About 5 months ago -- during the April rain -- a landslide covered our road. Two weeks ago it reopened. We've been hiking in and out and my family actually had to buy a 4-wheeler -- a Polaris -- it's been really hard for us," he said.

Ewald said authorities had not provided much help clearing the road. "My mum bought an excavator and she's done 95% of the work. She's out on the road until 8 p.m. at night with a headlamp on -- it's crazy."

The home is running on a generator, and for now, the family is safe from the flood. "Our electricity is out. Our turbine is out. The batteries from our solar panels have been drained," Ewald said. "We were prepared for a hurricane and the hurricane dissipated. Because of the big rain in April we were prepared ... we kind of knew what to do, you know? We had our food stocked and ready. And tonight we're under flash flood watch again."

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As Hurricane Lane approached Hawaii last week, Gov. David Ige asked residents to stockpile food, water, and other necessities. On Friday, the hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm.

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