Saturday, July 26, 2014         

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Flooding prompts roadway closures

Thunderstorms are expected again today for Oahu and Kauai

By Gary T. Kubota


Heavy rainfall in West Oahu forced the closure of eastbound lanes on the H-1 freeway last night and the opening of westbound lanes to two-way traffic near Farrington Highway.

A flash-flood watch remained in effect for Oahu last night after a more severe flash-flood warning was lifted at 9 p.m.

Radar at 7:12 p.m. yesterday showed estimated rainfall at 4 to 5 inches an hour in West Oahu.

Puhawai Street in Waianae Valley remained closed due to flooding.

Police also closed part of the road at 47-300 Kamehameha Highway in Kahaluu due to a mudslide.

Similar weather conditions were expected today, with heavy rain and thunderstorms in the forecast mainly for Kauai and Oahu, the National Weather Service said.

Lightning could be seen offshore in the evening.

Weather Service forecaster Ian Morrison said Maui County had less chance of heavy rain, and the Big Island could receive only scattered showers.

Morrison said the rain was being caused by an unusual cold front northwest of Kauai, combined with a high amount of tropical moisture in southerly winds.

"Those two things together tend to bring unsettled weather," he said.

Police also closed the two center lanes on Farrington Highway in the area east of Leihoku Street in Waianae due to a downed pole yesterday.

Police said a truck hit a pole at 4:36 p.m., causing the pole to lean, bringing its wires onto the ground. A lane in each direction on Farrington remained open.

Motorists were advised to expect delays as crews make repairs.

On Kauai, Hanalei Bridge and Kekaha Landfill closed at 8 a.m. due to weather but reopened in the early afternoon.

Homes along Maile Road in Waimea Valley were flooded, and Kauai County Civil Defense opened drainage ditches into Kukiola Harbor to prevent flooding in Kekaha. Kauai also experienced flooding along Kokee Road, heavy runoff on Kaumaualii Highway in Hanapepe and flooding in Koloa.

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