Tag Archives: Kawaihae

When it rains…

Heavy rain in Hawaii

A follow up to yesterday’s post, my commute yesterday was surprisingly good. Once I got to work though, things went downhill. Driving rain, rivers where they shouldn’t be, wading pools popping up everywhere. Oh, and thunder and lightning, a rare occurrence in these parts, in abundance.

The day was short and I left for home in another downpour, amid rumors of road closures and an overturned semi-truck on my route. Once I passed Kawaihae (where I did see the semi trailer conveniently off to one side of the road), the rain eased and getting home was a breeze. I even managed a trip to the gas station in blazing sunshine.

But later, the skies darkened, lightning flashed, and thunder cracked directly overhead. And rain lashed the house, driven sideways by gusts of wind. I think this was the hardest rain I’ve seen since I moved here. The photos don’t capture it, cowering as I was safely inside and taking photos through increasingly blurred windows.

According to the forecast, the system should pass overnight, and I will be very happy to wave it goodbye.

Heavy rain in Hawaii

Flooding

Heavy rains flood a road on the Big Island, Hawaii

Yesterday, a strong storm system moved across Hawaii from the west. On the Big Island, for most of the day, the weather was quite mellow, but the darkening clouds over Maui did not bode well. In the late afternoon, the bad weather finally arrived. The skies darkened and rain lashed down. When I left work, I had headlights on and drove with care. Just north of Kawaihae, the downpour increased in strength and I turned my windshield wipers to full speed.

I’ve never seen so much rain falling here, an area that gets 10 to 15 inches a year. Every little gully on the hillside was flooded with rainwater. About halfway home, I saw brake lights ahead, a blue police light, and a line of cars not moving. I couldn’t see whether this was an accident or something else.

The line of traffic soon started moving again and this was the scene I came to. A river of water flooded over the bank, washing debris into the road, and cascading down the slope towards the ocean. A policeman directed one way traffic and soon I was urging my little car through the torrent, water spraying up on both sides. I was happy to make it to the other side.

Back home, the weather was less extreme, but the system is supposed to hang around through Monday so who knows how this morning’s commute will be. If I don’t post again, you’ll know it did not go well!

Heavy rains flood a road on the Big Island, Hawaii

Kawaihae Harbor from the air

A view of Kawaihae harbor from the air

This view of Kawaihae Harbor shows the main harbor with its wharf on the left and breakwater on the right. Close to the breakwater are several boats on buoys and the military’s landing ramp and staging area. On the upper right is the relatively new small boat harbor, home to about 25 small boats.

Bottom left is the old small boat harbor which is mostly used for launching small boats and canoes these days, after a storm breached the small breakwater protecting it.

It came from the pond

A Black-crowned night heron struggles o get out of an algae covered pond
A Black-crowned night heron struggles o get out of an algae covered pond
A Black-crowned night heron struggles o get out of an algae covered pond

Recently, I was down at the lagoon behind the beach at Pelekane Bay in Kawaihae. I was engaged in one of my favorite activities – failing to get photos of dragonflies in flight!

When I heard a loud plop behind me, I turned to find this scene. This Black-crowned Night Heron had dropped into the algae-covered water, probably after a fish. I don’t think it caught anything, but when it popped up again it sported a rather fetching green hairdo. Even after it had shed that, it still found the process of getting out of the water was hard going, with a lot of flapping and splashing producing little result.

Eventually the bird reached dry land and resumed a watchful pose, apparently none the worse for its ordeal.

A Black-crowned night heron struggles o get out of an algae covered pond