Friday, March 09, 2012

A Stormy Start to Spring Break 2012

Today is the first day of Spring Break.  I don't have to work, the kids don't have any homework--I love that here in Hawaii end of quarter is before the break so they start new again after break!--and since we've got a break of course it is raining. 

It has been raining for most of the last 2 weeks.  I haven't been surfing since the 25th of February and haven't been tanning in a lot longer.  I'm starting to feel white and wave deprived. But enough about my personal trials, the constant rain has brought some major flooding to Laie and I have nothing to complain about.

This morning I woke up for my 6:30am workout to the flashes of lightening and rolling of thunder.  I scampered barefoot to Jenny's house next door dodging colossal raindrops all the way. The rain continued and increased throughout our workout and a few times we were startled when the thunder was so loud it was undoubtedly right over head. By the end of the workout we double checked Jenny's backyard for flooding and found that the water level was getting uncomfortably close.  I left telling her to call me if they needed help with anything.

About 30 minutes later I got the call.  The rain hadn't stopped while I'd been showering. It had increased and water was coming in through their walls! We rushed over and helped the 7 of them lift couches, furniture, lamps and more, off the floor.  We also emptied bottom drawers of dressers and raised the freezer on planks of wood.  When we finished we were ankle deep in water and the water was still rising. I invited the little kids over to my house for pancakes while the big kids continued to work.  They filled sandbags and diverted water and worked on pumps.

My neighbor was not the only one affected. All of Laie flooded including the BYU Hawaii campus. There were very few yards that didn't at least have a calf deep pond in it. Our yard was one of those houses, little more than a pond. I feel so blessed.

These pictures were taken by Dave.  The rain stopped and the water started receding almost immediately but not before a lot of damage had already been done. It has continued raining on and off all day and we are still under a flash flood warning (as well as high wind and high surf advisories). The air outside smells like sewage--I suppose it's inevitable--and so I must continually deny the children's requests to go swimming in the streets.

A neighbor's back porch. The water was coming in through the walls and was pouring in over the edge of the screen.

Water was pouring down the driveway from the street and into this yard.   The front part of this house is on stilts but behind it (you can't see it in this picture) is a 3 bedroom apartment built right on a cement slab on the ground. The apartment in the back is my friend Jenny's home. The entire house, with the exception of the master bathroom shower, were under eight inches of water.  The shower had a built up lip at the entrance and was bone dry; ironic. My house is the one on the left behind the wall.

This is Jenny's backyard.  The brick walls between the yards are supposed to help prevent flooding from spreading.  In her case it enclosed the flooding and the water couldn't get out. I hope that mango tree survives.

This is the baseball field across the street from our house and the BYU Hawaii church building beyond.  It looks beautiful and enticing but this new 18 inch deep lake has signs posted around it that say "Caution do not enter water may be contaminated".  This is the water that is pouring across the street and into all my neighbor's yards.

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