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Thunderstorms ease, but streams remain high

By Craig Gima

LAST UPDATED: 10:28 p.m. HST, May 25, 2014

Intense thunderstorms that drenched Central Oahu Sunday afternoon subsided and moved offshore, forecasters said. 

A flash flood warning expired at 5:15 p.m.

However, streams were running high island-wide and the high water will take time to subside, forecasters said.

The chance of heavy showers continues Sunday night on Oahu and Kauai, but forecasters say much of the remain is likely to remain offshore after sunset.

The threat of heavy rain is expected to shift east over Maui and the Big Island until tradewinds return on Monday.

The forecast for south shores of Oahu from East Honolulu to Kapolei calls for an 80 percent chance of rain Sunday and a 50 percent chance of rain through Memorial Day.

Earlier in the afternoon, a strong thunderstorm capable of producing intense lightning near Pearl City dropped heavy rain of as much as 4 inches an hour over Central Oahu.

The National Weather Service upgraded a flood advisory for Oahu to a flash flood warning at 2:18 p.m. until the rains lessened.

Hawaiian Electric Co. crews are working to restore power to thousands of customers in Makaha.

Some 2,310 customers have been without electricity since 4:45 p.m.

HECO personnel  already restored service to 2,680 customers in Mililani who were affected by an outage that began at 3:05 p.m. and 1,290 customers in Wahiawa who lost power at 3:20 p.m.

On Kauai, the weather service issued a flood advisory after radar showed heavy rain seven miles west of Kapaa.

The flood advisory expired at 4:30 p.m.

Heavy rains over windward areas prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood warning for Oahu early Sunday morning from about midnight until 2:45 a.m. as thunderstorms moved over Oahu.

Radar showed rain falling at rates of more than 2 inches per hour along Windward Oahu from Hauula to Kaneohe overnight.

In the 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m. Sunday, Punaluu Stream got more than 5 inches of rain and more than 3 inches fell in Kahana. More than 3 inches was recorded in Poamoho in northwest Oahu.

On Kauai, the county is not accepting commercial loads at the Kekaha Landfill because of muddy conditions and residential dropoff are limited to the landfill's convenience center.

County officials said another notice will be sent out when the landfill is operational again.

Meanwhile, the state Health Department issued a brown-water advisory for Oahu, including Waimea Bay, where storm water has breached the sand berm.

The public is advised to stay out of flood waters and storm water runoff due to possible overflowing cesspools, sewer manholes, pesticides, animal fecal matter, dead animals, pathogens, chemicals, and associated flood debris, the department said.

Those entering the runoff run the risk of contracting an ailment called leptospirosis, the department said in an email.

Tradewinds should return on Memorial Day, cooling things off a bit and lessening the chance of thunderstorms.

But the rainy weather is likely to continue with showers in windward and mauka areas, some spreading to leeward areas.

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