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Friday, August 01, 2014         

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Saturated islands endure another bout of heavy rain

By Dan Nakaso

POSTED:


Debris blocked roads on Oahu and Maui, and heavy rain threatened to overwhelm Waipahu Stream yesterday as more unstable weather is expected to keep Niihau, Kauai and Oahu under a flood watch through this afternoon.

The National Weather Service expects numerous showers and isolated thunderstorms today through tomorrow morning, giving way to scattered showers tomorrow afternoon.

Yesterday, parts of Oahu saw both sunshine and showers.

About 6 cubic yards of debris fell on Farrington Highway near Makua Cave around 6:30 a.m., said Peter Hirai, deputy director of the Department of Emergency Management.

Police spent much of yesterday diverting traffic around the slide.

In nearby Waianae, volunteers for the Department of Emergency Management turned city buses around on Puhawai Road at Lualualei Homestead Road after debris backed up rainwater, creating a lake across the road that was 18 inches deep and nearly 90 feet wide, Hirai said.

City officials were debating whether to keep Puhawai Road closed overnight.

In Mililani a car hit a boulder that fell onto Kamehameha Highway at Kipapa Gulch around 6:30 a.m.

And on Maui, officials closed South Kihei Road between North Kihei Road and Welakahao Road after overflowing culverts deposited mud on the roadway, said state Civil Defense spokeswoman Shelly Ichishita.

As a precaution, the American Red Cross opened a shelter at 4 a.m. at the Kihei Community Center for residents who evacuated their homes due to flooding, but there were no takers.

For the second Sunday in a row, Honolulu officials urged drivers to avoid "nonessential travel" during normally busy shopping days because of forecasts that called for more heavy showers across Oahu.

City officials also closed the Ewa Villages and West Loch golf courses yesterday, saying the saturated grounds still had not dried out following last week's heavy rain.

The western half of the islands will remain under the threat of bad weather because of a convergence of events, according to the National Weather Service: an unstable atmosphere; a slowly approaching front; and "abundant moisture" arriving from the south, pushed by increasingly strong southerly winds.





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