Hawaii Life broker-owner Matt Beall and his leadership team try to prepare for everything from tsunamis and terrorists attacks to North Korean missile launches and economic recessions.
But after extremely heavy rainfall from a storm of close to 28 inches last weekend on the island of Kauai, the North Shore community there was bowing under pressure to cope with mudslides, road closures, landslides and flooding. The deluge damaged or flooded dozens of homes in Hanalei, Wainiha, Haena and Anahola, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Since Monday, 340 people have been air lifted to safety by emergency crews, according to The Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Hawaii Life, headquartered in Princeville, Hanalei, which sits on cliffs above the bay on Kauai’s North Shore, is in the thick of it. On his company blog, Beall laid out the dire situation and reported, “We are assisting with local efforts to provide aid and support to visitors and residents of our Kaua’i community, as well as to those affected in East O‘ahu by recent flooding and storm damage.”
The independent brokerage had quickly gone into fundraising mode. “We are immediately redirecting money from the Hawai’i Life Charitable Fund to support the efforts of a number of non-profit organizations,” Beall wrote on the blog.
Speaking to Inman on Wednesday, Beall estimated that around $65,000 had been raised so far. The funding is being directed to the Kauai Red Cross and others, and he was looking for areas of need in the community.
“There is a whole recoup issue — kids are out of school and displaced, some suffering from PTSD,” he said.
It is an emotional time. Beall said he had employees who had lost their homes in Hanalei.
“The entire town was flooded — 4 feet of water, and you are done,” he said. “It’s one of the most beautiful parts of the world.”
The iconic film South Pacific was filmed at Lumahai Beach near the town of Hanalei, where Beall said is somewhere “everyone wants to go.”
Local organizations and observers have posted harrowing images of the flooding to social media as well, showing its extent:
Aerial footage shows extent of severe flooding on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, prompting a US Coast Guard response after heavy thunderstorms over the weekend. https://t.co/48Y16xQNA8 pic.twitter.com/tv0UNo8rsp
— ABC News (@ABC) April 16, 2018
— Hawaii DOT (@DOTHawaii) April 15, 2018
Unfortunately weather forecasts call for more rain Thursday and the entire state will be on flood watch alert until at least Friday afternoon, according to Kauai Mayor, Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s office.
A press release from his office said the Lumahai end of the island had suffered six larger landslides and six smaller landslides and thousands of pounds of mud, trees and debris would have to be cleared from the roadway to allow passage by vehicle.