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Flood watch in effect as rains drench Oahu, Kauai

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@ STARADVERTISER.COM
                                In the late afternoon, rain and clouds darkened the New Year’s Day skyline of Ala Moana area.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@ STARADVERTISER.COM

    In the late afternoon, rain and clouds darkened the New Year’s Day skyline of Ala Moana area.

  • GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Despite the damp weather in Hawaii, illegal fireworks near Punchbowl heralded the new year of 2022 early this morning.

    GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Despite the damp weather in Hawaii, illegal fireworks near Punchbowl heralded the new year of 2022 early this morning.

UPDATE: Sunday 7:15 a.m

A flash flood watch remains in effect for Oahu, Kauai and Niihau until 6 p.m., and Kauai is under a flash flood warning until 7:30 a.m.

8 p.m.

The National Weather Service has canceled the flash flood warning for Oahu. However, Oahu and Kauai remain under a flood watch through Sunday morning.

Maui’s flood advisory has also expired.

6 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for the east side of Maui until 8 p.m.

“At 4:50 p.m., radar indicated that heavy rain had once again developed over the lower windward slopes of Haleakala, with rainfall rates up to 2 inches per hour,” the advisory says.

The flood advisory covers Kipahulu, Hana, Nahiku, Kaupo, Hamoa and Haleakala National Park.

Oahu is under a flash flood warning until 7:30 p.m., but forecasters said the rainfall was diminishing.

“At 5:51 p.m, radar indicated that rainfall rates over Oahu were diminishing, and stream gauges indicate elevated water levels that were gradually receding,” a NWS update said.

Pali Highway town-bound lanes closed earlier today by a landslide have been reopened.

4:50 p.m.

Oahu’s flood watch was reinstated and extended to 6 a.m. Sunday in a correction issued by the National Weather Service.

The same notice, with an identical timeline, is also in effect for Kauai and Niihau.

Flood prone roads and other low lying areas may be closed due to runoff and overflowing streams, while urban areas may see more significant flooding and property damage due to rapid runoff, the agency said.

4:30 p.m.

Oahu’s flash flood warning has been extended to 7:30 p.m.

New radar data indicated widespread moderate rain moving over Oahu from the south and southwest, with embedded heavy showers and thunderstorms producing rainfall rates between 1 and 2 inches per hour, forecasters said.

Residents are urged to stay away from streams, rivers, drainage ditches, and culverts, even if they are currently dry. Drivers and pedestrians are warned against crossing fast flowing or rising water.

1:30 p.m.

A flash flood warning has been issued for the island of Oahu due to heavy rain, effective until 4:30 p.m. Affected areas include Pearl City, Kailua and Waipahu.

At 1:16 p.m., radar and automated rain gauges indicated heavy rain on already saturated ground, with rain rates up to 2 inches per hour, the National Weather Service said.

With more rain approaching from the south, already high stream levels will likely rise, forecasters said. Water levels are considered “very high” in Kaelepulu canal near Kailua beach park.

The downpour caused a landslide that closed the Pali Highway town-bound. The Hawaii Department of Transportation in a tweet said crews are working to remove debris in an effort anticipated to take four hours.

As a result of the heavy rains, the Honolulu Zoo announced it is closed for the day. If the weather eases, the zoo is anticipated to reopen with regular operating hours on Sunday.

The arrival of the flash flood warning comes the cancellation of a previous flood advisory originally set to expire at 2:15 p.m.

12:30 p.m.

Maui’s flood advisory was canceled at 11:53 a.m., but Oahu’s advisory remains in effect until 2:15 p.m.

The latest radar data indicated heavy rain over the south and east sides of Oahu at 11:44 a.m., with showers moving east. Rainfall has eased over western and northern portions of the island, while south and east areas of the island are expected to see flooding, forecasters said.

11 a.m.

Oahu’s flood advisory has been extended to 2:15 p.m.

Radar showed widespread heavy showers moving north across Oahu at 10:52 a.m. While the showers are moving fairly quickly, they are dumping rainfall at a rate of nearly 2 inches per hour, forecasters said.

With water levels rising in Waiahole and Waikane streams, Kamehameha Highway is at risk of flooding.

The entire island is expected to see flooding and residents are urged to stay away from streams, drainage ditches and low lying areas. Driving conditions will also be hazardous due to ponding, reduced visibility and conditions that impact braking capabilities.

A flood watch is also in effect for the island.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

Hawaii’s soggy New Year’s continued today as a storm system from the south continues to dump rain across the islands on the first day of 2022.

Flood advisories were in effect for Oahu and parts of east Maui this morning, and Kauai, Niihau and Oahu are under a flood watch for the entire day.

An early-morning flash flood warning for Oahu has expired. Heavy rain in Windward Oahu before 3 a.m. caused flooding on parts of Kamehameha Highway, forcing temporary closures at Waikane Valley Road and the Waiahole Poi Factory.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu issued a flood advisory for all of Oahu through 11:30 a.m.

“At 8:11 a.m., radar showed heavy rain showers increasing in coverage as they move north across Oahu, with additional rain approaching the leeward side from the west. Although showers were moving fairly quickly, they are still capable of rainfall rates near 2 inches per hour,” the advisory said.

The heavy rain may cause minor flooding on roads, poor drainage areas, and in streams, forecasters said.

On Maui, the advisory lasts until noon and covers Kipahulu, Kaupo, Hana, Hamoa and Haleakala National Park.

“At 8:42 a.m., radar indicated nearly stationary heavy rain persisting over the lower slopes of windward Haleakala, east of a line from Nahiku to Kaupo,” the weather service said.

The flood watch for Kauai, Niihau and Oahu, meanwhile, lasts through late tonight.

“Flood prone roads and other low-lying areas may be closed due to elevated runoff and overflowing streams. Urban areas may receive more significant flooding and property damage due to rapid runoff,” the watch says.

Forecasters said the rainy weather is expected to continue through the holiday weekend.

The highest chances for showers and isolated thunderstorms are forecast over Oahu and Kauai through Sunday, the weather service predicts.

“Unsettled weather conditions” will linger into Monday as Hawaii slowly transitions to a drier weather pattern, with light winds expected by Tuesday and tradewinds returning from Wednesday into Friday, forecasters said.

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