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Water on roads creates problems for Oahu commuters

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:36 a.m. HST, Mar 5, 2012

Honolulu police responded to numerous reports of water on the roads and highways as well as stalled vehicles and minor traffic accidents as a wet and potentially dangerous morning commute began.

The heaviest rains moved offshore at about 6 a.m., creating a bit of a lull, but more heavy rain was expected later in the morning.

There were numerous reports of road closures and lane closures on the freeway, but no major problems.

The Kapaa Quarry Road access from Mokapu Saddle Road was closed because of flooding. Tantalus Drive was also closed because of a downed tree and a landslide.

State Department of Transportation spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said one lane of the H-1 Freeway in the Waianae direction near Middle Street was closed early this morning as crews pumped water off the roadway. An earlier report of ponding on the freeway at about 4:30 a.m. near Waimalu was been cleared, he said. Crews also cleared water off the freeway near School Street.

In Windward Oahu, city officials were watching areas near Waihee and Waiahole streams especially on Waiahaloe Valley Road, where possible flooding could occur.

They were also monitoring a drainage ditch in Nanakuli, near Pokai Bay and Alta Street because of the heavy water run-off.

The National Weather Service and Civil Defense officials warn that water on the roads creates hazardous driving conditions.

"When we have rain situations like this, be careful," said John Cummings, a spokesman for the city Emergency Management department. "We don't want to add to the problems the weather is already creating."

Meisenzahl said drivers should leave early, be patient and also be aware of pedestrians, especially if visibility is reduced because of rain.

"We want to make sure everyone gets to their destinations safely," he said.

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