HTA President Declares Kauai “Open for Business”

Photo courtesy of Kauai Visitors Bureau/Kicka Witte

Following last week's heavy rain storm, most of Kauai is open and welcoming travelers, with the only exception being the northernmost communities from Wainiha to Haena, which are temporarily closed to vehicle traffic while repairs continue to reopen Kuhio Highway, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).

According to the HTA, Kauai’s north shore absorbed the worst of the thunderstorm, with more than 28 inches of record-setting rainfall in a 24-hour period, resulting in flooding, landslides blocking Kuhio Highway, and extensive property damage, the totality of which some lifelong Kauai residents say they have never seen before. No one was killed or seriously injured, according to the HTA. 

Although George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO, declared Kauai, "open for business,” he did note that there are areas that tourists should avoid.

“We also ask visitors to be respectful and avoid going into neighborhoods where recovery efforts are ongoing,” said Szigeti in a written release, “and to not go beyond Waioli Huiia Church in Hanalei or try to enter the closed section of Kuhio Highway until state and county officials reopen it to all vehicle traffic.”

Last week, several media outlets reported that more than 200 people had to be rescued after a severe weekend storm stranded them on the  Kauai's north shore. According to Time, a total of more than 340 people were evacuated after heavy rain brought flooding, mudslides and power outages to the neighborhood.

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