Flash floods feared on 5 islands
Mother’s Day proved wet and muddy in many parts of Oahu and Kauai as heavy rain fell over both islands and streams overflowed onto roads.
A flash flood watch is in effect through this afternoon for Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui and Lanai, the National Weather Service said. A winter weather advisory was in effect until 6 a.m. for the summits of the Big Island because of the possibility of snow, sleet and freezing rain.
The state Health Department warned Kauai residents to stay out of floodwaters and storm water runoff due to the possibility of overflowing cesspools and sewer manholes and the presence of pesticides, animal fecal matter, dead animals, pathogens, chemicals and debris.
On Oahu, heavy rain over Hauula stranded drivers and forced the temporary closure of neighborhood landmark Tamura’s Market yesterday.
According to employee Charmaine Toelupe, rain flooded the area between the store’s warehouse and the front of the store, spoiling merchandise and forcing the store to shut its doors for more than two hours on what is usually its busiest day of the week.
Toelupe estimated the store lost between $10,000 and $15,000 in sales.
"Sunday is our busiest day, and (yesterday) would have been even busier with Mother’s Day," Toelupe said. "People were waiting outside the door waiting for us to reopen."
Toelupe said the road outside the store was crowded with vehicles hemmed in by flooding in both directions.
"It’s never been this bad before," she said.
Hapuna Beach construction to start today
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is to start work today on park improvements at Hapuna Beach on Hawaii island.
Construction beginning today includes replacement of the central walkway, pavilion roofing replacement and new barbecue pits.
An irrigation system for the cabins also will be replaced.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority provided
$1 million for various park improvements through grants. The National Park Service provided $100,000 in federal funds.
The 61-acre state recreation area includes hiking rails and picnic pavilions.
Work is expected to be completed in August.
The park is to remain open, but rental cabins are to be closed during work in that section.
The central parkway also will close, requiring visitors to use alternate north or south paths.
Help sought for removal of alien plants
The Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are recruiting volunteers to help remove invasive plants next weekend from forests inside the Big Island park.
The group needs people on Saturday to help remove alien, invasive faya plants from the Keanakakoi Special Ecological Area.
Most of the faya are seedlings that can be easily pulled, but some are maturing trees that will have to be cut down with saws. The plants have grown since the area was cleared a few years ago.
The area has an ohia forest with native understory plants.
The group says volunteers should be at least 12. Those interested in helping should register by calling the Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park at 985-7373 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talk on homelessness
Marc Alexander, the governor’s coordinator for homelessness programs, will discuss the issue at tomorrow night’s meeting of the Waikiki Neighborhood Board. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Waikiki Community Center, 310 Paoakalani Ave.