420 Special: Kokua for Kauai

UPDATE: May 12th Concert to kokua Kaua’i Relief & Recovery Fund



Last fall, around September 20th, Hurricane Maria knocked out power to most of Puerto Rico when it struck as a Category 4 storm. The mayor of Puerto Rico’s largest city took her concerns to the media. “We are dying, and you are killing us with inefficiency and the bureaucracy,” reported San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.


President Donald Trump rebuked the mayor after she repeatedly criticized his administration for failing to provide more federal assistance in the wake of the hurricane. “They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort,” Trump tweeted. “10,000 federal workers now on island doing a good job.”

Kaua’i is Unbreakable

The small, Pacific island of Kaua’i is nicknamed the Garden Island due to her natural beauty from lush forests. It’s the most northern of the eight major Hawaiian islands and the oldest geologically. Kaua’i is a pristine garden precisely because 97 percent of the island is composed of undeveloped mountain ranges and rainforests. Rainforests require moisture and Kaua’i is one of the wettest spots on the planet.

RECORD 49.69 inches of rainfall in 24 hours

Last Saturday and Sunday, Kauai experienced a record-setting storm with an “unprecedented” rate of rainfall. A gauge in Hanalei measured more than 28 inches in 48-hours before it “stopped reporting.” The National Weather Service has now concluded there was an estimated 49.69 inches of rain in the 24-hour period. If the measurement is certified, this event will break the current national record of 43 inches in 24 hours.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (left) assesses flood-damaged areas on Kauai

The north shore of Kauai was particularly hard-hit by flooding and mudslides. Parts of roads from Hanalei west to the Napali Coast were washed out. Hawai’i Governor Ige announced damage was “very extensive” and landslides blocked roads into multiple communities. More than 425 people had to be evacuated by air. Many more received help from local boat and jet ski owners.

“The people in this community are true heroes living aloha every day.” ~ Tulsi

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard reported she flew in last Thursday to assist with recovery efforts after the record-setting storm wiped out many homes, damaged local businesses, and left some communities isolated due to landslides — requiring hundreds of people to be evacuated. She reported “she saw incredible beauty coming through the aloha spirit in this community. I saw and met people who had lost so much and yet did not hesitate to step up for their neighbors in their time of need.”

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard comforting families in need

Contrast the response of the San Juan major with Kaua’i mayoral candidate, Derek Monica Kawakami. We haven’t seen Derek on TV. He’s been too busy pitching in and helping out. He leaves PR campaigns to those who can’t do. In fact, mainland America has heard no complaints from the ‘ohana on Kaua’i. We pull together. We don’t expect others to do for us. We feel blessed to live here. It’s hard sometimes, but Mahalo ke Akua!

Derek Kawakami helping out and providing leadership during an emergency

Matt Bernabe posted the photo below featuring a Hanalei taro crew and Derek Kawakami restoring flow! #kauaistrong #alldaylong #getflow

Dayna Santos said, “Now our taro will be happy and our people will be happy to have poi!!”

Chasitee Kimura is with Derek Monica Kawakami in Hanamaulu. Mahalo nui loa to the awesome outpouring of Aloha to help bring water back to the kalo farmers of Waioli. These folks from all over the island showed how much they love our farmers. Mahalo dk for always coming out to help #blessed,#ohana,#manyhands,#workingtogetherasone

Help bringing water back to the kalo farmers of Waioli

Luis F Soltren, Sr. shared the photo below. He wrote, “You see who’s in this picture? Derek Monica Kawakami always helping! The guy is incredible. Whether he’s passing out hotdogs at my Christmas program for less fortunate kids — or you need support with county-related issues — and during emergency. Such a humane soul. Please share this.”

Derek Kawakami and volunteers

Earlier his week, Derek Monica Kawakami (DMK) wrote: “This island is unbreakable. Her people are the definition of courage, strength, compassion, contains the very essence of bravery in the face of adversity. Today I witnessed something amazing. The strength of a community tied by one single purpose, to succeed.”

Hanalei before (left) and after (right) historic rains

DMK: “To succeed in feeding one another, to succeed in rebuilding what has been toppled, to succeed by redefining what people thought would happen in times of adversity. I saw workers who refused to take breaks because they wanted to dig their brothers and sisters out.”

Black Pot beach early damage and ultimate destruction

DMK: “I saw workers hesitant to take water offered to them because they didn’t feel it was right to take resources from a community who is rebuilding. I saw friends from Koloa working to get water flowing. I saw telecommunications workers from Oahu grinding it out to bring the lines of communication back to the people. I saw public and private sector working shoulder to shoulder to get the job done.”

Hanalei village near Bubba Burgers

DMK: “I saw police, fire, AMR, National Guard, DLNR, and all facets of public safety working together as compassionate guardians of peace. I saw so many random acts of kindness. I have seen the team at EOC go on and on and on to formulate action plans to help make sense of what at times can seem senseless.”

Arial view of flooded Hanalie

Derek Monica Kawakami concluded:

“In all my years of public service, these last few days have made my heart smile to see the character that we possess. Our people are bravehearts. This island is unbreakable.”

Anahola (left) on northeast and Lydgate park on east shore

Kerstin Tennberg was with Derek Kawakami and others. She wrote:
“So it’s been a crazy couple of days for the people in Koloa due to the flooding and I never got the chance to give a huge huge mahalo to Derek for taking action on Sunday night and getting people out to clear the ditch so we could start the draining of the water and begin our clean up process. It’s amazing how our little community has all pulled together to help one another and make sure everyone is taken care of. So, again a huge Mahalo to Derek and the Koloa community.”

Flooded island, but spirits are strong

Hokuokalani Cabebe wrote, “So it’s almost 3AM and I gotta be up at 6 to make sure we get much needed items to Wainiha and Haena but their is no way I can close my eyes without first sending out a huge mahalo as well as an update as to how wonderful this day went … first and always, Mahalo ke Akua!

Mahalo for my bestie Mad Myrna aka Mindy Laney for getting me the 411 on boat actions first thing in the morning, so thankful to Chava Greenlee and Ryan Siebring for getting me to Haena this morning. So thankful that as I was getting ready to board my Godsons and our DCBs were on my boat.”

Popular Dolphin restaurant overwhelmed by swollen Hanalie river

Hokuokalani Cabebe continued, “For us to be together going home was everything! Mahalo to aunty Louise for being a boss and literally directing around National Gaurd helicopters and keeping tourist corralled and ready as they were helicoptered out!

Mahalo to Haley and Santos Giorgio for letting me their truck so that I could receive incoming supplies and distribute to our ‘ohana and anyone else walking around in need. Mahalo to Paulina and Mindy for giving me the heads up on when supplies arrived. Mahalo to the many boat operators who are so key in all of this. There knowledge of our oceans are legendary. Laird Hamilton, Noah Hamilton, Rod Machado, Stephen Koehne, Teva Dexter, Evan Valiere, and the many more I missed.”

Flooded streets on the island’s east side are no problem

Hokuokalani Cabebe added, “Mahalo to Steve and Seri and braddah Stan Mahuiki, the Sargeants and all the others for the help unloading and loading. Mahalo to Travis Bonell for the awesome jet ski ride back. Never in my life did I think I’d be launching waves outside Lumaha’i and “the Bay” on a jetski! What an amazing experience!

They can feel the love that makes our island home truly beautiful

Mahalo to Kumu Leina’ala Jardin for organizing the most massive Kaua’i Aloha donation drive and to Hanalei and Carrie Hermosura and our Deep Country Ohana for receiving and distributing to the many and to Malama Kaua’i and Megan Fox and Donovan Kanani Cabebe for the amazing donations that I am beyond excited to bring home to the Deep Country so that it may be a blessing to those who are truly in need so that they can feel the love that makes our island home truly beautiful!”

View looking west from historic Hanalei bridge

Kokua for Kaua’i

If you feel the aloha and would like to support (kokua) and be family with this strong, resilient ‘ohana, please donate: MalamaKauai.org


Monetary support and pledges can be made to PAYPAL.COM/TEMANA. As of this month, any current funds in the account through 2019 will go to maka’ainana tools for clean up.


If you are strong, if you are blessed, send aloha to your brothers and sisters on the Garden Island. Much love and aloha. Imua!

Derek and members of Kaua’i ‘ohana

Disaster doesn’t break our spirit; it brings us closer together.

When life is difficult, we smile and pull together

Everybody helps. Do what you can. This is aloha in our island ‘ohana.

Work hard while aunties provide ono grinds

Rodney Basconcillo posted a picture showing how several tons of drift wood have piled up inside of and near the Lydgate Beach swimming ponds on east Kaua’i.

Fond memories of swimming at Lydgate Beach’s swimming ponds

Surfrider Foundation Kauai Chapter posted the picture below and thanked those who helped out. Mahalo volunteers!

Mahalo volunteers!

Surfrider Kaua’i reminds all volunteers and first responders to please be safe and STAY OUT OF FLOOD WATERS — mud can also be dangerous. These areas are often heavily polluted with runoff from overflowing cesspools, animal fecal matter, pathogens, chemicals, pesticides, dead animals, and can be hazardous to your health.

Before and After Views of Black Pot beach and Hanalei Bay Pier

Amazing, isn’t it? Please leave your comments below and be sure to FOLLOW ClearHeath Life Strategies. We provide News of the News You Wish You Knew.

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