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Hawaii News

More rains possible this evening

    This satellite image taken this evening shows scattered clouds over the main Hawaiian islands and a weak weather system approaching from the northwest. Tropical Storm Nora is southeast of the state.

Heavy rain drenched Windward Oahu this morning, causing minor flooding in some areas and briefly closing a stretch of Kamehameha Highway, while a flash flood Sunday on Iao Stream in Wailuku stranded several teenagers.

Forecasters say weather conditions over the state remain unstable and more heavy showers are possible into the evening.

Police reopened the stretch of Kamehameha Highway from Waikane Valley Road extending 200 feet north just after noon today. The Department of Emergency Management said water on the highway at one point was more than eight inches deep.

Officials at the National Weather Service said gauge reports showed rain falling at up to three inches per hour  this morning.

The Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie announced that it was closing because of the weather. However, the Hukilau Marketplace shops and restaurants remained open.

In the 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m., nearly 5.3 inches of rain fell at Waiahole, about 4.1 inches fell at Kahana and 3.7 inches was recorded at Punaluu Stream.

Tonight’s forecast calls for continued scattered showers. Most of the showers will be in windward areas and in interior mountain sections.

“There still could be some heavy showers,” said Bob Burke, a meteorologist with the Honolulu office of the National Weather Service, said early this afternoon.

Light winds and muggy conditions are expected to stick around for another day or so.

Forecasters say a weak weather front will move down the island chain from the northwest, bringing more scattered showers mostly in windward areas Tuesday and Wednesday.

Cooler, drier air and tradewinds should return after the system passes.

On Maui, heavy rains Sunday caused a flash flood on Iao Stream in Wailuku that stranded three groups of people swimming in the stream.

The Maui Fire Department reports an 11-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl, both from Wailuku, were swept downstream at Kepaniwai Park in Iao Valley at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday. 

Bystanders grabbed them out of the water and paramedics treated them for minor scrapes and bumps.

Just before 2 p.m., Kahului firefighters tied a rope across the stream to rescue an 18-year-old Haiku man who had been stranded on the other side of Iao Stream in Kepaniwai Park by flash flooding.

The man had been swimming with four other family members at a popular swimming hole when they heard sounds of rocks rumbling upstream. 

Three family members made it up the embankment before the flash flood arrived. The teenager scrambled up an embankment on the other side of the stream.

The flooding stranded two other teenagers in another area of Iao Stream, about a half mile above Mokuhau Park in Happy Valley. Rescue crews arrived at 2:19 p.m. and learned that a group of seven children, ages 10 to 16, had been at a swimming hole at the stream when the waters rose. 

A 15-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy scrambled up another embankment and became separated from the other children. A resident in the area used a rope to help the teenagers up to his property and a fire battalion chief drove to the residents home and brought the teenagers back to Mokuhau Park.

The Maui Fire Department warned residents that flash flooding can still happen even if skies are sunny or rain is light downstream.

“Be alert when swimming in mountain streams. Pay attention to the weather, and be vigilant if there are dark clouds in the mountains upslope of you. If you hear a strange rumbling sound like river rocks being tossed into each other, if you notice the water quickly turning brown or rising very rapidly, find the quickest path to high ground. Once on high ground, wait till rescuers arrive or until flood waters recede. Don’t attempt to walk out on your own,” the Maui Fire Department said in a news release.

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