SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8 / AP) – Caught in the chaos of the flooding and mudslides on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, an Encinitas family shared their story with News 8 about how a famous surfer, Laird Hamilton, came to their rescue.
The Gwilliam family was stranded in their vacation home when legendary surfer Laird Hamilton boated right up to get them out.
Erin Gwilliam and her husband, Jamas, had been stranded for two days in their vacation home rental with their three children – ages six to eleven.
The family had no power and no running water as the flood ravaged the town of Hanalei on the north shore of Kauai.
At least 2 feet (71 centimeters) of rain dumped on Hanalei on Kauai's north shore during a 24-hour period over the weekend. The rain left people stranded in a shelter that became surrounded by water, homes damaged or washed off foundations and landslides along roadways.
Since Monday, military and county emergency workers have airlifted more than 340 people from the isolated north shore towns of Haena and Wainiha. Evacuations are ongoing.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Sunday declared Kauai a disaster.
News 8’s Marcella reports from Encinitas with the family’s story.