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Laie receives heavy rain and flooding

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Leilani Miller | University Relations | 11 December 2008

Extensive rain and substantial flooding hit Laie as a massive storm began its attack on Oahu early this morning. A flash flood warning has been issued for all of Oahu as the National Weather Service has forecasted heavy rain and scattered showers through the weekend. BYU-Hawaii’s old gym has been opened as an emergency shelter and Red Cross first aid center for the community and the stake center was opened as a shelter for all BYU-Hawaii students.

Physical Plant rushed to fill and deliver sand bags to campus areas most in need including the Hales, TVA, and the Multi Purpose Center. Student and community volunteers were requested and rose to the occasion to provide service in this time of need. BYU-Hawaii Security and Hawaii Reserves Incorporated (HRI) were seen out in the community closing off streets and helping families barricade homes with sand bags and as well as attempt to rescue their belongings from the widespread flood damages.

Flood damage
Left: Max Checketts, VP of Academics, helps Dr. Ron Miller evacuate his family
Right: Flood damages on Moana Street

Roads have been closed by Honolulu Police both in Waiahole and near Turtle Bay. Laie roads have been closed off as well with the help of BYUH Security and HRI. As such, off campus students are encouraged to stay at home and take care of their families and friends rather than brave the flooded streets. All administrative offices have been closed for the day, however, the Testing Center, library, Aloha Center, and cafeteria are open and available to all on campus but subject to possible closure pending further changes in weather.

Compton Kayak
Dr. Chad Compton, BYUH Associate VP of Academics, kayaks down a Moana Street driveway

Warnings have also been issued about the contamination of the flood-water due to backed up sewers and avoidance advised. Be sure to clean thoroughly if exposed. No notice of any contamination of drinking water has been received.

Flooded Kulanui Street
Kulanui was flooded up to waist high or higher in some areas. Students and community members alike lend a helping hand pushing cars off the roads.

BYU-Hawaii’s Graduation Celebration for the Fall 2008 graduates has been postponed to Friday night at 6 pm in the CAC. According to Lei Pakalani, Assistant Director of Career and Alumni Services, "If bad weather persists, a decision will be made by 10:00 am tomorrow [Friday] morning regarding cancellation. If the event is cancelled tomorrow, refunds for tickets purchased will be processed through the Alumni office." 

Playing in the water

Students and younger community members found enjoyment in the wet circumstances as they were seen kayaking, rafting, body boarding, and playing games in the streets and fields filled with water.

—Photos by Monique Saenz

:: Watch video clips of the receding waters