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Kauai rainfall may have set national record

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    This April 22 photo shows overturned vehicles following severe flooding near Black Pot Beach Park in Hanalei, Kauai.

Torrential rainfall in north Kauai that ravaged homes and businesses about a week and a half ago may have set a national record, according to the National Weather Service.

A rain gage in Waipa, about a mile west of Hanalei, recorded 49.69 inches — more than four feet — of rain during the 24-hour period ending at 12:45 p.m. April 15.

If certified, the total would smash the current U.S. record of 43 inches of rainfall in a 24-hour period that was set in Alvin, Texas in July 1979.

Hawaii’s current record for rainfall in a 24-hour period is 38 inches recorded in January 1956 in Kilauea on Kauai.

A national committee will convene to verify the data and if correct, certify it as a national record, the weather service said. It’s unknown how long the certification process will take.

The rainfall and ensuing flooding ravaged homes, businesses, and roads on the island, and numerous landslides along Kuhio Highway cut off the Wainiha and Haena communities on the North Shore. Hundreds were airlifted out of those areas.

Damage assessments are still being compiled.

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