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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 82° Today's Paper

Hawaii News

Statewide flash flood watch, brown water advisory

Craig Gima
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This satellite image taken Monday morning shows heavy rain over Oahu and Maui counties created by moisture coming up from the south and Tropical Depression Kilo, lower right. In the upper right is Tropical Storm Loke.
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The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for Oahu, Hawaii island, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai and Niihau, as moist, stable air from Tropical Depression Kilo continues sending thunderstorms and muggy weather to the islands. 

The watch will be in effect until 6 p.m. Tuesday. A flash flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. 

The weather service warns that the potential for more heavy rains continues through midweek. 

Also, the state Health Department has issued a brown water advisory for all islands because of storm water runoff entering coastal waters. 

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. 

In addition, Hawaiian Telcom’s 24-hour service center is contending with a heavy call volume, with more than 1,000 customers statewide reporting issues with their phone, Internet and TV services, according to a news release. 

To avoid waiting on hold, customers are advised to report service disruptions at Hawaiian Telcom’s website. An online support form is available under the Support tab > Submit Support (www.hawaiiantel.com/Support/SupportForm/tabid/1346/Default.aspx). 

While Hawaiian Telcom crews are addressing issues as quickly as possible, “the company anticipates that repairs may take longer than usual due to weather-related complications, including severe flooding, numerous road closures and loss of power,” according to the release. 

A flash-flood warning for Hawaii island was posted after mid-morning radar showed intense rainfall moving onshore from Kailua-Kona to Keauhou at 9:25 a.m The warning was downgraded to a watch at 2 p.m.

Maui was under a flash flood warning that expired at 1 p.m. The weather service said heavy rain on the Valley Isle diminished, but runoff levels remain high and flooding conditions are ongoing. 

Flash flood warnings indicate that flooding is imminent or occurring in streams, on roads and in low-lying areas. 

After severe weather conditions prompted the National Park Service to close access to Maui’s Haleakala on Monday morning, the park’s Summit Road reopened at 4 p.m. The park will be open for sunrise viewing Tuesday morning. The Kipahulu District, which also closed Monday due to flooding on the Hana Highway, will re-open on Tuesday. 

On Oahu, heavy ponding on roadways affected Monday morning commuters, including students attending the first day of classes at the University of Hawaii campuses. 

Police closed the Wilder off-ramp of the H-1 freeway and the Vineyard Boulevard offramp was also closed until drains could be cleared. Heavy ponding was also reported on the H-1 freeway near the Kunia on-ramp. 

The Koko Head bound lanes of the Wilder and Bingham off ramps were also flooded. 

Flooding closed the Honolulu Zoo and Ewa Villages and West Loch golf courses and play has been suspended at the other four city golf courses until further notice, according to a news release. 

Heavy ponding was reported on Kamehameha Highway near Kuoloa Ranch. 

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