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WEATHER BLOG: Maui, Molokai under flash flood warning; 4 shelters opened on Oahu as precaution

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                A pedestrian navigates through floodwater along South Beretania Street during heavy rains today.

    JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A pedestrian navigates through floodwater along South Beretania Street during heavy rains today.

  • COURTESY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
                                Radar this morning showed heavy rainfall over parts of the state. A flash flood watch all Hawaiian Islands has been extended through Tuesday afternoon as the National Weather Service in Honolulu says “widespread heavy rainfall and thunderstorms,” which may bring catastrophic flooding and strong southerly winds, remains a threat due to a kona low.

    COURTESY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

    Radar this morning showed heavy rainfall over parts of the state. A flash flood watch all Hawaiian Islands has been extended through Tuesday afternoon as the National Weather Service in Honolulu says “widespread heavy rainfall and thunderstorms,” which may bring catastrophic flooding and strong southerly winds, remains a threat due to a kona low.

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Skies were overcast on Oahu today as heavy showers began to move in over urban Honolulu.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Skies were overcast on Oahu today as heavy showers began to move in over urban Honolulu.

Editor’s note: Below is the Sunday and early Monday weather blog. For Monday’s weather report and blog, go to this page.

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UPDATE: 3:35 a.m.

The flash flood warning for Molokai has been extended to 6:30 a.m

“At 3:23 a.m., radar indicated some decrease in rainfall moving over Molokai from the south, but runoff from earlier heavy rain continues,” the National Weather Service said. “Kamehameha V Highway remains closed near mile marker 8 due to mud and debris on the roadway. Additional heavy showers forming to the south of the island will likely move ashore through the early-morning hours.”

3 a.m.

The flash flood warning for Maui has been extended to 6:15 a.m

“At 2:40 a.m., radar indicated a renewed area of very heavy showers moving over Maui from the south, with even more heavy showers developing further upstream,” the National Weather Service said. ?Localized rainfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour will exacerbate ongoing flooding from earlier rainfall. Portions of leeward Maui have received over 6 inches of rain over the past 6 hours, and runoff remains high.”

Molokai’s warning is in effect until 3:30 a.m.

MONDAY 12:01 a.m.

The flash flood warning for Maui has been extended to 3:15 a.m.

At 12:01 a.m., radar indicated that heavy rain had eased in coverage and intensity over the island of Maui, with a few fast-moving heavy showers producing rain rates near 1 inch per hour. However, significant flooding from earlier heavy rain is ongoing.

Significant and life threatening flooding in drainages, streams, rivers, roads, properties, and other low lying areas. Multiple public road closures expected, as well as landslides in steep terrain.

* Some locations that will experience flash flooding include all of the island of Maui, but especially Wailea and Makena.

Precautionary/preparedness actions…

Stay away from streams, rivers, drainage ditches, and culverts, even if they are currently dry.

Do not cross fast flowing or rising water in your vehicle, or on foot.

This warning may need to be extended beyond 3:15 a.m. if flooding persists.

UPDATE: 9:30 p.m.

The flash flood warning for Maui has been extended to 12:15 a.m., and the warning for Molokai now is in effect until 12:30 a.m., the National Weather Service said.

“At 9:16 p.m., radar indicated heavy rain over all of Maui. Civil Defense reports significant flooding in the Kihei area near Maui Meadows subdivision, where several homes have been flooded, and cars have been washed away. Additional flooding impacts are being reported in some upslope communities,” the Maui warning said.

Forecasters warn of “significant and life-threatening flooding in drainages, streams, rivers, roads, properties, and other low-lying areas.”

The island has experienced many power outages this evening, including a two-hour outage at Kahului Airport.

The Molokai warning extension said, “At 9:20 p.m., radar indicates heavy rain falling moving over Molokai from the south, with rain rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour. Waters in streams and rivers remain high, with additional rain approaching form the south.”

All Hawaiian islands remain under a flood watch through Tuesday afternoon as a Kona low pulls moisture over the islands from the south.

9:10 p.m.

The flash flood warning for the eastern half of the Big Island has been lifted.

Both Maui and Molokai are still under a flash flood warning, and Lanai is under a flood advisory until 11:30 p.m

7:25 p.m.

Emergency power has turned the lights back on at Kahului Airport after a roughly two-hour outage, state transportation officials said.

7:15 p.m.

State transportation officials tweeted that while power is out at Kahului Airport terminal, the runway lights are operational. “Check with your airline before heading to the airport,” they said.

On Molokai, law enforcement reported at 6 p.m. that flooding, mud and debris have made portions of Kamehameha V Highway impassable in Kaunakakai, according to the weather service.

7:05 p.m.

All Hawaii public schools in Maui County will be closed for students and staff on Monday due to severe weather conditions, Department of Education officials announced tonight.

In addition, a power outage has affected Kahului Airport, including the runway lights, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Maui Electric Co. officials said airport officials are working on getting generators operational and that the company is working with the airport to restore power.

6:55 p.m.

The City and County of Honolulu opened four emergency shelters at 6 p.m. as a precaution ahead of the kona low storm that is starting to hit Oahu tonight.

The shelter are at:

>> Kalakaua District Park, 720 McNeil St, Honolulu;

>> Makaha Community Park, 84-730 Manuku St, Waianae;

>> Sunset Beach Recreation Center, 59-540 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa;

>> Kailua District Park, 21 S. Kainalu Drive, Kailua.

People are asked to bring their own food, water, bedding, toiletries and supplies. Additional shelter locations may be opened depending on the severity of the storm, city officials said. Pets are allowed and must be kept in a crate. The animal’s owner is responsible for any food and supplies the pet may need, they said.

6:35 p.m.

Molokai has been placed under a flash flood warning for Molokai until 9:15 pm, and the warning for Maui has been extended to 9:30 p.m., the National Weather Service said.

“At 6:25 p.m., radar indicated rainfall continuing to move over the slopes of Haleakala from the south. Rain rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour were occurring over the Kaupo Gap area, and 1 to 2 inches per hour near Oheo Gulch. Heavy rainfall will also be moving over central and west Maui during the next several hours,” the warning for Maui said

6:25 p.m.

The flash flood warning for the eastern half of Hawaii island has been extended to 9:15 p.m., the National Weather Service said.

“At 6:04 p.m., radar indicated heavy rainfall continuing over the slopes of the Kau and Puna Districts. Peak radar rainfall estimates of 2 to 3 inches per hour have been occurring near Wood Valley. Rainfall is expected to continue well into the nighttime hours.

Hazards include flash flooding and landslides.

The warning includes Hilo, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Volcano, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Glenwood, Wood Valley, Mountain View, Pahala, Hawaiian Acres, Pohakuloa Training Area, Punaluu Beach, Keaau, Orchidlands Estates, Kawa Flats, Papaikou, Pahoa, Pepeekeo, Naalehu and Honomu.

The weather service said Big Island Civil Defense officials reported Wood Valley Road, about 3 miles north of Pahala, was closed about 2 p.m. due to flooding at a low water crossing.

5:34 p.m.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a flood advisory for the island of Lanai until 8:30 p.m.

At 5:29 p.m., radar showed heavy rainfall over the northwest part of the island at the rate of one to two inches per hour.

Heavy rain is expected to continue moving over the island from the south through the next several hours.

UPDATE 5:21 p.m.

Big Island Mayor Mitch Roth has signed a Severe Weather Condition First Emergency Proclamation, declaring a state of emergency for the County of Hawaii.

The proclamation goes in effect today and will end on Dec. 31, unless terminated earlier or extended by a separate proclamation, whichever happens first.

UPDATE: 4:35 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for the island of Maui until 6:30 p.m.

At 4:27 p.m. today, radar indicated heavy rainfall was increasing over the slopes of Haleakala at the rate of two to three inches per hour, with more rain approaching from the south.

Forecasters say the rain will continue to spread westward over central and west Maui later tonight, and could also possibly close Piilani Highway at low water crossings.

UPDATE: 4:25 p.m.

Hawaiian Electric Co. reports as of 4:10 p.m. today, approximately 2,000 customers are without power in the area from Milolii to South Point Road on Hawaii island. Crews are responding, but no estimate on repair time has been given.

UPDATE: 4:03 p.m.

The flood advisory for Hawaii island has been replaced by a flash flood warning until 6:15 p.m.

According to the National Weather Service in Honolulu, at 3:56 p.m. radar indicated heavy rainfall was intensifying over the Ka’u and Puna districts of the Big Island, with rain falling at about two to three inches per hour near Halemaumau and Wood Valley. In addition, Belt Highway at Kawa Flats is at risk of closure due to excessive rainfall.

The NWS said heavy rain is expected to continue in the area throughout the evening.

Affected areas include Hilo, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Volcano, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Glenwood, Wood Valley, Mountain View, Pahala, Hawaiian Acres, Pohakuloa Training Area, Punaluu Beach, Keaau, Orchidlands Estates, Kawa Flats, Papaikou, Pahoa, Pepeekeo, Naalehu and Honomu.

UPDATE: 2:50 p.m.

The flood advisory for Maui has been cancelled.

UPDATE 2:33 p.m.

The flood advisory for Hawaii island issued earlier today has been replaced, with a new advisory now in effect until 5:15 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

At 2:13 p.m., radar and automated rain gauges indicated heavy rain had moved into Hilo, as well as the Ka’u district between Volcano and Kapapala Ranch, at the rate of one to two inches per hour.

Forecasters in Honolulu said heavy rain is expected to continue in the area for the next several hours.

Updated areas expected to see impacts from the heavy rainfall include Hilo, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Volcano, Glenwood, Wood Valley, Mountain View, Pahala, Hawaiian Acres, Pohakuloa Training Area, Punaluu Beach, Keaau, Orchidlands Estates, Kawa Flats, Papaikou, Pahoa, Pepeekeo, Naalehu and Honomu.

UPDATE 12:26 p.m.

The National Weather Service has added Maui to the list of Hawaiian Islands under a flood advisory this afternoon.

Maui’s advisory is in effect until 3:30 p.m. and was issued after radar indicated heavy rain over leeward slopes of the West Maui Mountains around 12:20 p.m. today.

The most intense rainfall is expected from Lahaina to Napili, with additional rain approaching the island from the south and expected to impact the island within the next hour.

UPDATE: 12:15 p.m.

A flood advisory is in effect for Hawaii island until 3:15 p.m. today due to heavy rains.

At noon, radar indicated heavy rain over the southeast flank of Hawaii island, with the highest rainfall coming over the Kau area at the rate of about one inch per hour.

Areas that could potentially see flooding this afternoon and into the evening include Hawaiian Paradise Park, Wood Valley, Pahala, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Punaluu Beach, Naalehu, Glenwood, Mountain View, Hawaiian Ocean View, Hawaiian Acres, Orchidlands Estates, Pahoa, Waiohinu, Fern Forest and Eden Roc.

In addition, Hawaiian Electric Co. says 6,000 customers were without power as of 11:30 a.m. in Mountain View and Volcano, as well as from Hilo Municipal Golf Course to the area of Shipman Ranch and Keeau Town. Crews are responding.

UPDATE: 11:55 a.m.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a flood advisory for the island of Lanai until 3 p.m. today.

According to the NWS, heavy rain was falling at the rate of one to two inches per hour over Manele Bay around 11:45 a.m. and is expected to spread over the entire island within an hour.

Minor flooding on roads, near streams and in areas with poor drainage is likely due to excessive rainfall.

UPDATE: 11:40 a.m.

The flood advisory for Oahu has been cancelled. A flood advisory is now in effect for Hawaii island until 12:15 p.m.

In addition, Hawaii County Civil Defense reminds residents that all of that island’s beach parks are closed today due to the threat of heavy surf. A high surf warning is in effect today as waves up to 30 feet are expected along north- and west-facing shores.

UPDATE: 11 a.m.

The following watches/warnings/advisories are currently in effect, according to the National Weather Services’ Hawaii Field Office:

>> Flood Watch through Tuesday afternoon for all Hawaiian Islands

>> High Surf Warning until 6 a.m. Monday for Niihau, Oahu North Shore, Olomana, Maui Windward West, Kohala, Kauai North, Koolau Windward, Molokai Windward, Molokai North, Maui Central Valley North, Windward Haleakala, Big Island East, Big Island North.

>> High Wind Warning until 6 a.m. Monday for Haleakala summit, all Big Island summits

>> Blizzard Warning until 6 a.m. Monday for all Big Island summits

>> Wind Advisory until 6 a.m. Monday for Kona, Kohala, Big Island interior, Big Island South, Big Island Southeast, Big Island East, Big Island North

>> High Surf Advisory until 6 a.m. Monday for Kauai Leeward, Waianae Coast, Maui Leeward West, Molokai West

>> Small Craft Advisory until 6 p.m. Monday for all Hawaii waters.

UPDATE: 9:45 a.m.

A flood advisory is in effect for Oahu until 12:45 p.m. today.

At 9:37 a.m., radar showed heavy rainfall taking place over urban Honolulu at the rate of one to three inches per hour and moving over the Koolau Mountains toward Kaneohe and Kailua.

Heavy showers are expected throughout the morning, forecasters said.

Areas that could experience flooding include Honolulu, Waipio, Aiea, Halawa, Moanalua, Salt Lake, Ahuimanu, Kalihi, Pearl City, Kahaluu, Waiahole, Waikane, Manoa, Waikele, Iroquois Point, Maunawili, Waipahu, Mililani and Palolo.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

A flash flood watch all Hawaiian Islands has been extended through Tuesday afternoon as the National Weather Service in Honolulu says “widespread heavy rainfall and thunderstorms,” which may bring catastrophic flooding and strong southerly winds, remains a threat due to a kona low near the state.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said Saturday that as much as 25 inches of rain could fall across the state over the next few days. Rainfall on Friday and Saturday has already damaged roads and caused localized flooding, along with producing dangerously high surf.

According to the NWS, Maui County and Hawaii island are expected to receive the heaviest rainfall today, with Oahu and Kauai expected to see more rain tonight into Monday. Forecasters say to expect heavy rains potentially until Wednesday, with the highest chance for thunderstorms to occur on Monday and Tuesday when “deep layer shear, instability and moisture axis” could all affect the state.

Normal trade wind patterns are expected to return to the state later in the week as the kona low departs and is replaced by an area of high pressure to the northeast of the state.

HI-EMA asks Hawaii residents to be aware of the following:

>> During heavy rains, or human-made structure failures such as a dam breach, flash flooding can occur quickly and without warning.

>> Be prepared to evacuate and move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to act.

>> Do not cross fast-flowing water in your vehicle or on foot – Turn around, do not drown!

>> Contact your property/casualty agent or broker about flood insurance, which is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program.

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