The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) Chief Executive Officer and President, George D. Szigeti, is throwing open the doors for tourists to visit Kauai and telling everyone the island is open for business. In a statement he said:
Mahalo to everyone who has supported the relief efforts for the residents of Kauai’s north shore. Your kindness, generosity, and thoughts for these people and the plight they will be coping with for many months to come is appreciated.
Work is ongoing around the clock to repair the extensive damage to homes, buildings, facilities, infrastructure, and land areas that resulted from the record-setting rainfall and flooding of April 14-15.
We learned last week that nearly 50 inches of rain, a national record, fell on parts of Kauai’s north shore over a 24-hour period. One can understand why the damage was so extensive from this once-in-a-lifetime thunderstorm.
Kuhio Highway, the only roadway connecting the northernmost communities of Wainiha and Haena with the rest of Kauai, remains closed to private vehicle traffic for safety reasons. Only emergency vehicles are being allowed to pass through at this time.
Tremendous progress is being made every day by State of Hawaii and County of Kauai emergency work crews to repair the damage and, step-by-step, get life back to normal for the hundreds of residents living in these small, rural communities.
The people of Hawaii have come together in full, unified support of the relief and recovery efforts. An abundance of food, fresh water, and essential supplies have poured in from around the state to assist residents of Wainiha and Haena.
Our state lawmakers have appropriated $125 million in emergency funding to repair the damages in Kauai’s north shore and communities of east Oahu, the two areas hit hardest by the thunderstorm.
HTA is funding a shuttle service that is carrying residents of Wainiha and Haena to gather food, water and supplies, receive medical treatment, and have children be educated in a makeshift school at Hanalei Colony Resort.
The recovery of Kauai’s north shore continues diligently every day. All we ask of everyone is to respect these relief efforts and allow them to continue without interruption.
Please also know that everywhere else on Kauai was largely unaffected by the thunderstorm. Except for Wainiha to Haena, the rest of Kauai is open for business. We encourage anyone wanting to experience the Garden Island to please come. There is so much to enjoy and admire on Kauai.