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Family Stranded on Island Rescued by Celeb in Boat After Record-Setting Rainfall Causes Flood

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The Hawaiian islands have been battered with unprecedented amounts of rainfall, which began on April 14.

Islanders are still trying to assess the widespread flood damage while bracing themselves for additional rain and mudslides to come.

Hundreds of people have been displaced, stranded, and in need of evacuation. Governor of Hawaii David Ige declared a state of emergency, and military personnel have spent days evacuating citizens and bringing supplies to areas of refuge.

“I’ve lived here all my life and this is one of the most serious situations on Kauai,” Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho told Hawaii News Now. “Things are just terrible.”

“What we’re really focusing on right now is search and rescue,” Carvalho explained. “And a thorough damage assessment.”

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Erin Gwilliam was on vacation with her family when the storm hit. She found herself trapped in a rental home alongside her husband and their three children, flood waters rising around them.

“It was just torrential,” Gwilliam exclaimed. “I’ve never seen or heard rain like that before.”

Lucky for them, pro surfer Laird Hamilton has a home nearby. For an athlete who makes a living in rough waters, breezing around the flooded island in a boat was probably second nature.

Gwilliam said Hamilton helped her family onto a boat and brought them to safety. With all the chaos happening on the island, Hamilton felt compelled to do what he could to lend a hand.



“He just said, ‘You know what? As long as I can get people out, I’m going to get people out’ because nobody else could,” Gwilliam recalled. “He just said, ‘Pass the kids down, and pass the luggage down, and let’s go.'”

Many Hawaiians are scrambling for higher ground before more rainfall and mudslides devastate the land around them.

“We heard there’s another storm coming and we don’t want to take any chances,” said resident Adriana Carril.

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“It’s hard to conceive that that much water could come from the sky,” Hamilton said of the sudden torrential downpour. “And I mean it was like an ocean back there.”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
Birthplace
Page, Arizona
Education
Bachelor of Science in Music Education
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Lifestyle & Human Interest




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