Today I’ll be talking a little bit more about the island of Kauai. It won’t be so much about real estate this time; I thought it might be useful for folks on the mainland to learn a little about what has been happening on the island since Tropical Storm Olivia.
Back in April, you might have heard about our torrential rains. Many have the idea that the whole island is underwater, but it really only affected a few parts of the island. A stream in Koloa Town flooded and caused some home damage, most of which occurred on the North Shore.
In just one day in April, there was 36 inches of rain that caused a number of traumatic effects: In Hanalei, it rerouted rivers, and the Hanalei Pier was basically sitting on sand. It’s only now that Black Pot, the park adjacent to the pier, is being repaired.
In addition to the dozen mudslides we endured, parts of roads were actually removed. Though it’s been many months, that part of the island is still inaccessible. Those who live out there can get special passes to a convoy that travels twice a day to and from that part of the island, which is really the only way to get around the area.
This is an interesting moment for Kauai. There are a lot of vacation rentals on that section of the island, but of course, many of those folks are out of business. We just have to wait and see what the eventual outcome will be; the state just instituted the Haena Master Plan, which, in essence, is a plan to limit the number of visitors to the area, to install parking, as well as to repair certain features in the area.
Almost 3,000 cars a day were traveling to the area prior to the plan. People love to come and hike the trails and reach the places that one can only get to on foot, by boat, or by helicopter. The hope is that the master plan will normalize activity in the area by next year.
It has been a challenging time for the island of Kauai. Many people lost their homes, and there are still those that need housing and food. Some lost their jobs because commuting to work and back became difficult or impossible. We’re still in a recovery phase her on the island.
However, it is important to note that the rest of the island is still in good shape: Tourism is strong, and so is the real estate market. We haven’t seen much of an effect on property values yet, besides those multimillion-dollar homes that were destroyed and had to be rebuilt.
Overall, I think we’re learning to respect the power of nature. If you have any questions about the state of Kauai’s recovery process or about real estate here on the island, feel free to reach out to me. In the meantime, stay safe from any storms that are forming. A hui hou, and aloha!