Flooding rains batter Kauai, triggering rescues and closing all the island’s public schools
Flooding rains batter Kauai, triggering rescues and closing all the island’s public schools
Torrential storms dumped nearly a foot of rain on the Hawaiian island of Kauai late Thursday into Friday morning, leading to widespread flash flooding that shut down roads and closed schools.

A deep area of low pressure has draped a stationary front across Kauai, leading to stubborn rounds of heavy rain through much of Friday.

The National Weather Service reported rain falling at 2-3 inches per hour along Kauai, prompting Flash Flood Warnings lasting into Friday morning. In addition, a rare Severe Thunderstorm Watch was in effect until 10 a.m. Friday for thunderstorms with possible quarter-sized hail and/or wind gusts of 58 mph or stronger. It's the islands' first Severe Thunderstorm Watch in nearly 500 days, and it's the first for Lihue since December 2022.

The Hawaii Department of Education canceled all classes across the island Friday due to flooded roads and unsafe conditions. All bus service on the island was suspended as well until conditions improved.

Officials have reported multiple rescues from cars and houses due to flooding, the Kauai Emergency Management Agency said.

"Due to residential flooding in the Kōloa and Wailua areas, the Department of Parks and Recreation has opened shelters at the Kapa'a and Kōloa neighborhood centers," Kawaii EMA said. "Volunteers with the American Red Cross at both locations."

So far, there are no reports of any injuries.

The Hawaii Dept. of Transportation reported numerous roads and highways blocked by either standing water, rocks or mud.

The Kaumaulii Highway was blocked in three different areas over a 7-mile stretch due to rocks, boulders and mud, according to the DOT. The Kuhio Highway was also blocked near the Hanalei Bridge on Friday morning. Kauai police reported another additional dozen street closures.

Lihue Airport reported 11.74 inches of rain in just nine hours between Thursday night and Friday morning, placing the event in the Top 5 rainiest two-day stretches in the island's recorded weather history.

The community of Kalaheo reported seeing the most rainfall, with 12.51" falling in just over 12 hours.

The rain will briefly abate Friday night into Saturday as the front drifts west, but heavy rains and thunderstorms will return to the island Saturday night.