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Flash flood warning extended for Kauai, flood advisory in effect for Oahu

UPDATE: 8 a.m.

The flash flood warning for Kauai has been extended again as heavy rain on Oahu has prompted a flood advisory.

The Hanalei River gauge remains well above threshold levels as of 8:01 a.m. today, according to the National Weather Service. Rain also continues to fall over the area, helping to ensure water levels remain high.

High water levels are also expected in Hanakapiai Stream, Kawaikoi Stream and the Wainiha River, the NWS said.

On Oahu, radar at 7:18 a.m. showed heavy rain falling near Whitmore Village at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour and moving along the North Shore, the NWS said. Additional rain is moving onshore along the west side of the island and will spread over the island with rain rates around 1 inch per hour.

Locations in the advisory include, but are not limited to, Mililani, Wahiawa, Waialua, Schofield Barracks, Laie, Kahaluu, Punaluu, Waianae, Wheeler Field, Kunia, Kapolei and Waikele.

5:20 a.m.

The flash flood warning for Kauai has been extended through 8:15 a.m.

The Hanalei stream gauge at 5:14 a.m. was still reporting water levels above flood stage at the Hanalei River Bridge, according to the National Weather Service. Additional moderate to heavy rainfall will likely keep water levels in the Hanalei River above flood stage for the next several hours, with high water levels expected in Hanakapiai Stream, Kawaikoi Stream and the Wainiha River.

The flooding and subsequent bridge closure have prompted the closure of Hanalei Elementary School. Additionally, there will be no bus service for students living in Hanalei, Haena and Wainiha who attend Kapaa Middle and High schools, according to the Kauai mayor’s office.

Some locations that will experience flooding include Princeville, Wainiha, North Fork Wailua Trails, Hanalei and Na Pali State Park.

4:45 a.m.

A flash flood warning is in effect for Kauai through 6:30 a.m. today.

Emergency management officials reported flooding on Kuhio Highway by the Hanalei River Bridge at 2:49 a.m. Kuhio Highway in the area was subsequently closed.

Flooding is also likely in drainages, streams, rivers, roads, properties and other low-lying areas. Landslides are possible in steep terrain.

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A cold front is expected to sweep from Kauai to the rest of the Hawaiian Islands, bringing wet weather down the isle chain, and reaching Hawaii island by late Thursday, according to National Weather Service forecasters.

Heavy rains fell over Kauai this morning at rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour, prompting a flood advisory that was canceled at about 9:20 a.m. Additional showers are still possible later today.

The heavy rains are expected to reach Oahu later this afternoon, then Maui County later this evening through Thursday morning, and Hawaii island by Thursday afternoon and evening, forecasters said.

Today’s forecast is partly cloudy, with scattered showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms, highs of 78 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit and variable winds up to 15 mph. Lows tonight are from 63 to 68 degrees, with north winds increasing to 15 to 20 mph.

In addition to showers, which will be heavy at times, and isolated thunderstorms, forecasters say several days of northerly to northwesterly winds will follow, bringing much colder air into the state — and snow for Big Isle summits Thursday and Friday.

A high wind watch has also been issued for Big Isle summits, in effect from Thursday morning to Saturday night.

Weather officials say westerly winds of 45 to 75 mph, with localized gusts over 90 mph, are possible.

Travel to the summits could be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles. Precautions to protect property should be taken now, and loose objects should be tied down or moved to a sheltered location.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park said in a tweet that the Mauna Loa summit closure would go into effect this evening due to extreme winter weather. No backcountry permits for the summit cabin will be issued until the closure is lifted.

A small craft advisory has also been issued for Oahu windward and leeward waters, the Kaiwi Channel and Maui County windward and leeward waters, from 6 a.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday.

Forecasters, meanwhile, say the “unstable moisture” brought by northerly winds will likely bring scattered showers to north-facing slopes through the weekend.

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