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Truck falls into sinkhole on rain-soaked Hawaii island

Storm sets new rainfall record for Hilo

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 08:13 a.m. HST, Dec 31, 2013

Heavy rains drenched Hawaii island's Windward coast Monday morning, scattering runoff and debris across the area — and even causing a Paauilo Mauka road to collapse beneath a truck, according to officials.

More rain Monday afternoon and evening prompted a flash flood warning that's been extended through 8 a.m. today after radar showed heavy rain south of Hilo near Keaau at about 7:48 p.m.

Other locations in the warning include Waipio Valley, Paauilo, Laupahoehoe, and Hawaiian Paradise Park.

The National Weather Service said flooding was reported at Ainako Ave. and Kaumana Drive this evening. A landslide was also reported on Old Scenic Road in Papaikou.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense was alerted to the road collapse site on Pohakea Mauka Road, near its junction with Manienie Road, at about 8 a.m., Civil Defense administrator Darryl Oliveira said. The rain had caused a culvert beneath the street to shift, which then triggered the roadway's collapse as a Dodge pickup drove over it. The truck fell into a giant sinkhole-like crater, Oliveira said.

The truck's female driver emerged with minor injuries and "definitely very shaken," Oliveira said. County public works personnel are at the site and "trying to come up with a plan" for repair — but it likely will be a slow fix. Oliveira said.

The rains also caused landslides across an approximately 11-mile stretch of Highway 19, between the 25- to 36-mile marker, he said.

The rains set a new record for rainfall at the Hilo Airport. About 5.51 inches fell Monday, beating the old record of 4.58 inches set in 1951.

The island remains under a flood watch until 6 p.m. Monday.

The Muliwai Trail and Waimanu Valley campground in North Kohala closed at 1 p.m. due to flooding.

The storm also brought snow to Mauna Kea and hail to Hilo, Puna and Pahoa Sunday night, according to reports to the National Weather Service.

"It's been a while since we've had such heavy downpour with so much runoff," Oliveira said. "The ground's been pretty dry for a while. It's been drier than normal and now we're having heavier than normal rainfall."

The storm's passage over the Big Island was captured by a cloud camera at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea. The video is embedded in this story Staradvertiser.com website below and can be seen on mobile devices through this link: http://youtu.be/COF5dEadvmg

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false wrote:
Sinkhole? Naw, it was just bozo Obama's huge divot with his golf club.
on December 30,2013 | 03:51PM
RichardCory wrote:
on December 30,2013 | 06:08PM
HanabataDays wrote:
Yep, judging by the size of that divot, his club is certainly more impressive than anything you might have rattling around in your bag.
on December 31,2013 | 03:23AM
lucky181 wrote:
That sinkhole is shaped like the Big Island
on December 30,2013 | 03:54PM
localguy wrote:
Want to bet the truck driver caught in the sink hole has already found a good attorney and will file a lawsuit to have the truck replaced at tax payers expense?
on December 30,2013 | 10:04PM
awahana wrote:
Wow. Holiday season all the negative, insensitive, inappropriate, comments.
I hope this is a false representation of locals.
Things must be rough in your personal lives. A lot of unhappiness at home?
Hope it gets better. God bless.
on December 30,2013 | 10:29PM
HanabataDays wrote:
The lightning vid from the top of Mauna Kea is awesome!
on December 31,2013 | 03:22AM
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