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Heavy rain hits Oahu

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 9:27 p.m. HST, Dec 27, 2010

Heavy rain that had been over Kauai this morning moved over Oahu, prompting a flash flood warning early this evening. The warning was lifted before 9 p.m., but forecasters say the threat of more heavy rain continues.

Lightning could be seen offshore this evening as rains fell over the leeward and central parts of Oahu.

The warning included Ewa Beach, Kapolei, Waianae, Wahiawa and Haleiwa.

Honolulu police report flooding and rockslides have closed lanes on Kamehameha Highway by Lulani Street in Kaneohe and Kalaeloa Blvd. and Lauwiliwili Road in Kapolei.

A truck hit a pole on Farrington Highway near Leihoku Street, leaving only one lane open in each direction.

Police said the H-1 Freeway Waianae-bound lanes at Makakilo are now open again, but advise caution because of water on the roadway.

The heavy rains hit Kauai this morning, closing the Hanalei Bridge and flooding homes along Maile Road in Waimea Valley.

The Weather Service canceled a flash flood warning for Kauai at about 11:45 a.m.

Police reopened the Hanalei Bridge at 11:40 a.m. and Kauai County Civil Defense opened drainage ditches into Kukiola Harbor to prevent flooding in Kekaha. Warning signs are being posted in the harbor because of the discharge.

Kauai also experienced flooding along Kokee Road and heavy run-off on Kaumaualii Highway in Hanapepe.

Derek Wroe, a forecaster with the National Weather Service, said weather conditions are unstable and heavy showers and thundershowers are likely to form and move over Oahu.

"We've already had quite a bit of rain over the last week or so, so the soil is saturated," Wroe said. Because the system is moving slowly, the heavy rains may last for several hours, he said.

Oahu and Kauai remain under a flash flood watch until tomorrow afternoon.

Scattered heavy rain showers created problems on Maui and Oahu yesterday.

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.

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.

Road crews this morning cleared debris from Puhawai Road near Lualualei Road in Waianae and are now checking other areas along the Leeward Coast that are prone to flooding and mudslides, Hirai said.

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