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VIDEO: Mayor Blangiardi discusses Oahu response to severe weather threat

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City officials are urging Oahu residents to limit non-essential activities today into Tuesday morning as heavy rainfall continues across Oahu.

“(There’s) potential for additional heavy rains to start flooding the urban Honolulu area as well as as well as other parts of the island,” said Department of Emergency Management Director Hiro Toiya.

A flash flood warning has also been issued on Oahu until 4:15 p.m. today.

The city has opened four shelters in Kalakaua District Park, Makaha Community Park, Sunset Beach Recreation Center and Kailua District Park. Toiya explained that these places were selected because of the areas’ potential for weather impact. The areas were also meant to accommodate people who live in harder-to-reach areas that may be cut off from resources.

Toiya said that if there is a need, more shelters will be opened.

There were about 19 people at shelters as if early this afternoon.

Since 8 p.m. Sunday, the Honolulu Fire Department has responded to 47 storm-related events that include blown roofs, downed trees and roadway obstructions.

Honolulu Emergency Medical Services has been busy over the last 24-hours, but that most of the calls have not really been storm-related, except for a few additional slip-and-fall incidents due to wet pavement, said EMS Director Jim Ireland.

Ocean Safety has also been busy rescuing people on Sunday due to the high surf, although Ireland explained that beach-use has decreased today.

“It’s not a good day to enjoy the outdoors here because of just number one, the weather,” he said.

“Number two, you’re going to be tying up rescuers if you get into trouble that are potentially needed elsewhere.”

Since last week Department of Facilities Maintenance employees have been clearing stream mouths to help prevent flooding. However, due to the high surf, some of that work was undone.

“They continue to take action this morning and throughout the day today to the extent that they can,” said Toiya.

Toiya also explained that the city is still preparing for the worst in the event that there is 10 to 15 more inches of additional rainfall coming.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi emphasized the need to take the weather event seriously.

“We just ask everybody to use caution to use common sense,” he said. “Let’s not let the storm get the best of us.”

Watch a replay of the briefing via the video above, or go to Mayor Blangiardi’s Facebook page.

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