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Big Island hit by flooding; more rain in store for state

  • COURTESY: NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
    This satellite image from Monday night shows heavy showers over the Big Island.
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Heavy rain buffeted Hawaii island on Monday evening, stranding motorists and prompting officials to close roads and evacuate an apartment complex in Kawaihae. 

Up to a dozen apartment residents were evacuated from a Kawaihae apartment complex at 62-2600 Ouli Ekahi Place after four units flooded at about 6:35 p.m. County officials opened the Waimea Community Center as an evacuation center. There were no reports of injuries. 

County officials also said four vehicles were left stranded near Kawaihae Harbor after heavy stream flows blocked the exit from an area known as the “LST Landing.” 

Heavy rains and flooding led to the closure of Apelehama Road near Kalopa State Park; Kupuna Road in Ahualoa; Hualalai Road between Queen Kaahumanu Highway and Heinaloli Road, and Akoni Puli Highwy near mile marker three. 

Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said field reports described “episodes or these cells of heavy rain downpours in different areas.” 

Flood advisories for Hawaii island and Kauai were canceled at midnight Monday and 3 a.m. Tuesday, respectively.

On Oahu, a flash flood warning was canceled at 11 p.m. Monday after heavy rain soaked the Windward side of the island. A flood advisory for Oahu’s Windward side expired at 1 a.m. Tuesday as showers tapered off.

Kamehameha Highway between Waikane Valley and Waihole Valley roads was briefly closed late Monday due to flooding.

The weather system that drenched many parts of the state Monday is expected to return Tuesday. Heavy rain and possible are likely thanks to abundant moisture in the atmosphere, light winds and daytime heat, forecasters said.

The light southeasterly winds may also bring vog to Kauai and Oahu, weather officials said.

At the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, forecasters are also watching a developing system about 870 miles southeast of Hilo. The "disorganized showers and thunderstorms" associated with the system have a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours, forecasters said Tuesday morning.

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