Hanalei and Beyond | Re-Opening After Last Year’s Record Rainfall
Hanalei and Beyond Re-Opening (But Please Tread Lightly)
The record-setting rainfall of April 2018 significantly impacted the island of Kauai and more specifically the area of Hanalei, Wainiha, and Haena. As a result of the nearly 50 inches of rainfall in a 24-hour period, flooding in Hanalei caused some property and infrastructure damage. Thankfully no lives were lost, and injuries were very minimal.
The road to Haena and Wainiha leading to Kee Beach and the NaPali Coast was severely damaged. This iconic and Historic road remained closed to visitors until very recently. The communities of Hanalei, Wainiha, and Haena endured great hardship during this period due to challenges of accessibility to their homes and the logistics associated with the restricted access.
Aloha Spirit on Kauai
The community spirit of Aloha was reinvigorated through the hardship. Initially, neighbors, along with many charitable organizations and governmental agencies, came together to help each other in the cleanup efforts and emergency response to access to food and supplies. Volunteer clean-up crews, food banks, and a “soup kitchen” were all established in a matter of days. The community rallied around these in order to help their neighbors in need. This experience reestablished a real sense of care and pride (Kuleana) for the community.
This tragic event also afforded the community with a fantastic opportunity to hit the “reset” button. The road to Haena has been dramatically improved. The one-lane bridges have been rebuilt. A shuttle system and the long-awaited Haena State Park Master Plan has been implemented. As a result, Hanalei and beyond are “open for business.”
The implementation of the Haena Master Plan is most significant. The plan essentially limits the number of visitors to the park to 900 per day. Also part of the plan is a parking reservation system and hiking pass system. As always, but especially now, please tread lightly and respect our island.