On Thanksgiving Day at about 3:30 pm as Zoom Thanksgiving toasts were being exchanged, it began to rain in Holualoa.
The downpour continued for the next three hours at which point Rancho Aloha’s rain gauge had collected 6.5 inches. The streambed on the north side of the property, which is typically dry, quickly filled with a roaring torrent which soon jumped the volcanic rock bank and began to flow into the coffee orchard.
When all was said and done, the surge had dug a 4-foot-deep trench down the hillside and through the orchard, flowing with enough power to scatter rocks and boulders that had once been a part of the wash. While the flood took out more than a dozen coffee trees, the irrigation system, and the newly installed electric pig fence, fortunately no structures were damaged. The upper house, the lower cottage/ohana, and the farm work shed were all spared.
There is lots of cleanup and repair to be done as we continue with the last few weeks of the 2020 coffee harvest. It was an exciting few hours — but there is Thanksgiving that the damage was not worse.
Here are a few day-after photos: