When we attempted to drive across Hi'lawe Stream at 8:00 am that morning we found a raging, chocolate colored river full of large tree branches floating by at very fast speed. We were trapped, as the river was far too high to drive even the biggest four-wheel drive across, and this road is the only way out of Waipi‘o Valley. However, that was just the beginning of the rain! The rainfall continued to intensify but there was little we could do except as the road in both directions was now a raging torrent.
At 9:30 am we decided to see if we could find the stream gage we had used with the students just two days earlier. This numbered, steel gage had a reading of 1.29-1.3 feet on March 12 but now it was barely visible and the water was 3 inches over the top of the gage which has a maximum reading of 3.3 feet. Where turbidity measured only 0.36 Ntu units during the student study of the clear, low stream it now measured an amazing 106 Ntu units at the gage. But it kept raining, and the stream kept coming up.