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Heavy rains shut Pali Highway Honolulu-bound morning contraflow, lanes of Ala Moana and Nimitz

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    A composite satellite image at 5:25 a.m. today shows areas of moisture over Oahu.


    Heavy rain led to flooding along Colburn Street and Puuhale Road on Tuesday.


    Pedestrians dodged the rain, Monday, at Halekauwila and Punchbowl streets in downtown Honolulu.

UPDATE: Wednesday, 7:20 a.m.

The flood advisory for Oahu has been canceled.

Although light rain continues to dampen some areas of the island, radar shows the heavy rain has ended, weather officials said.

5:35 a.m.

A flood advisory remains in effect for Oahu through 7:15 a.m.

Radar at 5:10 a.m. showed moderate rain falling over South and East Oahu and near or at 1 inch per hour over urban Honolulu including the H-1 freeway, according to weather officials. However, rain was seen gradually ending over North and West Oahu.

Although light rain continues for Lanai, an earlier flood advisory for the island has been canceled.

5 a.m.

The two right lanes of westbound Ala Moana Boulevard at South Street by Waterfront Plaza in Kakaako and the left lane of Nimitz Highway past River Street in Chinatown are closed due to flooding, according to the state Department of Transportation.

4:45 a.m.

The islands of Oahu, Molokai and Lanai are under flood advisories this morning as heavy rains have persisted overnight.

The heavy rains have led to cancelation of the Pali Highway Honolulu-bound morning contraflow, the state Department of Transportation said in a tweet just before 4:30 a.m., advising motorists to use alternate routes.

The advisories cover Oahu until 7:15 a.m., Lanai until 7:45 a.m. and Molokai until 5 a.m.

The National Weather Service said rainfall rates in Lanai were as high as 4 inches an hour, while Oahu and Molokai were seeing rates of 1 or 2 inches and hour.

A flash flood watch for Kauai, Niihau and Oahu continues through this afternoon.


The three people who were struck by lightning tonight have been identified.

At around 9 p.m., emergency officials responded to a 10-year-old boy who was apparently hit by lightning in the Kalihi area. He was transported to the hospital in serious condition, according to Shayne Enright, spokeswoman of the Honolulu Emergency Services.

Shortly after, two men were apparently hit by lightning at the airport while working on the tarmac. They were also transported to the hospital in serious condition.

9:45 p.m.

At least three people were hit by lightning tonight, the Honolulu Emergency Services Division reported.

Officials warned that there is little you can do to substantially reduce your risk if you are outside in a thunderstorm.

“The only completely safe action is to get inside a safe building or vehicle,” emergency officials said.

However, if you absolutely cannot get to safety, you can slightly lessen the threat of being struck with the following tips:

>> Avoid open fields, the top of a hill or a ridge top.

>> Stay away from tall, isolated trees or other tall objects. If you are in a forest, stay near a lower stand of trees.

>> If you are in a group, spread out to avoid the current traveling between group members.

>> If you are camping in an open area, set up camp in a valley, ravine or other low area. Remember, a tent offers NO protection from lighting.

>> Stay away from water, wet items, such as ropes, and metal objects, such as fences and poles. Water and metal do not attract lightning but they are excellent conductors of electricity. The current from a lightning flash will easily travel for long distances.

9:20 p.m.

The flash flood warning for Oahu has been extended until 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“At 9:00 p.m., radar indicated persistent torrential rain and thunderstorms affecting south and east Oahu, with rainfall rates up to 4 inches per hour affecting a wide swath of urban Honolulu, causing significant flooding impacts,” the National Weather Service said tonight.

Extreme flooding is causing significant travel problems along Nimitz Highway and in portions of Waikiki.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation has also reported the following traffic alerts:

>> H-1 westbound at the Pali off-ramp is closed.

>> H-1 westbound at the Vineyard off-ramp is closed.

>> Heavy flooding is reported on the H-1 in both directions near the Liliha Street overpass.

>> H-1 westbound at Middle Street and Ala Moana Boulevard at South Street are experiencing flooding.

>> Nimitz westbound at River Street and Nimitz eastbound at Fort Street Mall are down to one lane each.

>> A downed tree is blocking two lanes of Likelike Highway heading toward Kaneohe at the Burmeister Overpass.

Motorists are advised to use alternate routes and to avoid driving in the Honolulu area.

8:40 p.m.

A flash flood warning is in effect for Oahu until 9:30 p.m.

“At 8:40 p.m., radar indicated persistent torrential rain and thunderstorms affecting the area from Makiki to Waipahu, with rainfall rates near 4 inches per hour affecting a wide swath of urban Honolulu,” the National Weather Service said tonight.

More heavy rain is also approaching from the southwest.

This warning includes the entire island of Oahu.

Impacted communities potentially include Palolo, Aina Haina, Waialae, Hawaii Kai, and Waimanalo in southeast Oahu, and from Nanakuli to Makaha to Kaena Point to Haleiwa in northwest Oahu, weather officials said.

6 p.m.

A flood advisory is in effect for Oahu until 9 p.m. today.

The National Weather Service reported moderate to heavy rain over the entire island just before 6 p.m., with rain falling at a rate of one to two inches per hour.

More heavy rain is expected over the next few hours, and a flash flood warning may eventually be needed.

Previous coverage

Rains soaked Oahu and are threatening Kauai County this morning as a flash flood watch remains in effect for the islands.

Radar at 3:07 a.m. today showed rain falling at up to 3 inches per hour between Honolulu airport and Barber’s Point, National Weather Service officials said in a bulletin. “Minor flooding of poor drainage and low lying areas can be expected.”

An earlier flood advisory for Oahu expired at 6 a.m.

Approximately 1,900 customers in Makakilo suffered a power outage sometime between 3:30 a.m. and 4 a.m. due to an early morning thunderstorm.

Shannon Tangonan, spokeswoman for Hawaiian Electric Co., said they received overnight reports of lightning strikes and downed power lines in Kapolei and Makakilo.

Hawaiian Electric crews restored power to all but six customers in Makakilo by about 7:15 a.m.

Area residents from Ewa to Makakilo reported extremely loud thunder and their homes shaking.

Jon Jelsema, senior forecaster of the National Weather Service, said, when a lightning bolt comes down from the clouds, it causes the air to rapidly expand around the bolt. “You end up having that loud bang and that would reverberate and the house would shake a little bit,” said

Meanwhile, a flash flood watch for Oahu and Kauai County remains in effect through Wednesday afternoon.

Deep tropical moisture combined with increasing instability associated with an upper low moving into the area will support periods of heavy showers and a few thunderstorms, weather officials said.

The flash flood watch is in effect through 4 p.m. Wednesday.

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