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City officials urge caution ahead of possible flash floods on Oahu

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Pedestrians cross Punchbowl Street today in downtown Honolulu.

City officials are warning Oahu residents and visitors to prepare for possible heavy rains and flash flooding later this afternoon.

A flash flood watch is in effect for Kauai, Niihau and Oahu from this afternoon through Wednesday afternoon.

>> Related story: Flash flood watch in effect for Oahu, Kauai, Niihau tonight as hot, muggy conditions persist

“The National Weather Service advised us this morning that an upper level low and trough west of the state will bring an increased chance of severe weather, heavy rain and possibly thunderstorms, which could begin affecting us as early as this afternoon and lasting through Wednesday,” said Hiro Toiya, director for the city’s Department of Emergency Management in a news release. “In addition we could see heavy rainfall in areas of Oahu not normally associated with flooding such as the Ewa plains, Kapolei and the Leeward coast of Oahu. Flooding rains could result in evacuations, road closures and possible utility outages.”

Oahu residents need to consider the following flood and flash flood preparations:

>> Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, washes, etc.

>> Avoid already flooded and high-velocity flow areas. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.

>> If driving, be aware that the roadbed may not be intact under flood waters. Turn around and go another way. Remember, turn around, don’t drown!

>> If your vehicle stalls, assess whether you should leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle and its occupants and sweep them away.

>> Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

>> Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.

>> If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

>> Move to a safe area before access is cut off by floodwater.

>> Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, television, radio or official social media channels for emergency information.

A list of what you need to know is available at this link.

The DEM will issue emergency public information over TV, radio and official social media channels. In addition, residents can sign up for free emergency email and text alerts via HNL.info.

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