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Rains ease as flash flood warning, flood watch canceled

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
                                A radar image at noon Monday shows areas of moisture over most islands.
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NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

A radar image at noon Monday shows areas of moisture over most islands.

UPDATE: Tuesday, 6:45 a.m.

The flash flood warning for the island of Kauai was canceled Monday at 9:06 p.m.

The flood watch for Kauai County had been canceled more than 40 minutes earlier.

The flood watch for Oahu and Maui County was canceled at 5:10 p.m.

Although low clouds around the islands are generally expected to clear this morning, afternoon sea breezes could lead to cloud and shower formation over island interiors, according to the National Weather Service.

5:26 p.m.

A flash flood warning has been issued for Kauai following heavy rainfall until 8:15 p.m. today. The warning means that flash flooding is imminent or occurring.

At 5:14 p.m., the radar showed heavy rain pouring over northern Kauai at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour. Stream gauges report significant increases in the Hanalei and Wainiha rivers. Flood and closure of Kuhio Highway near Hanalei are expected around 6 p.m., forecasters said.

Affected locations include Princeville, Kilauea, Hanalei, Wainiha, Haena, Na Pali State Park and Kalihiwai.

“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. Turn around, don’t drown,” forecasters said.

11:30 a.m.

Kauai County said both lanes of Kuhio Highway as of 10:30 a.m. are now open near the vicinity of the Hanalei Bridge.

A flood watch remains in effect for all islands through this afternoon.

Niihau and Kauai are also under a wind advisory until 6 p.m. today.

The Department of Water on Kauai has issued a water conservation request from Hanalei to Haena until further notice, due to electrical power outages and severe weather conditions occurring in the area.

“Customers are advised to limit water use to essential needs only, such as cooking, drinking or sanitation use, to prevent a full water service outage,” said the department in a notice. “Additional water conservation measures include turning off appliances and fixtures that automatically draw water such as ice machines and irrigation systems.”

The National Weather Service has also issued a winter storm warning for Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa summits on Hawaii island, effective until 6 p.m. today.

Weather officials say moisture and sub-freezing temperatures over the summits will bring the potential for snow and freezing rain throughout today. Additional snow of two to four inches is expected.

Travel to the summits could be very difficult to impossible, and should be postponed until the threat diminishes.

A high surf advisory also remains in effect for the north and west shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, and Molokai; for the north shores of Maui; and the east shores of Kauai, until 6 p.m. today.

Surf of 14 to 18 feet is expected along the north shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, and Molokai, and 12 to 16 feet along the north shores of Maui.

Surf of 10 to 14 feet is expected along the west shores of Kauai.

The public should heed all advice from ocean safety officials.

Additionally, health officials have issued a brown water advisory for the north shores of Kauai — from Kee Beach to Kalihiwai Bay.

EARLIER TODAY

Although an earlier flash flood warning for the island of Kauai has expired, a flood watch remains in effect through this afternoon for all islands as the state looks forward to frequent showers with a chance of thunderstorms today.

At 5:31 a.m., radar and rain gauges showed heavy rain falling over northern Kauai at a rate of up to 1 inch per hour, according to the National Weather Service. Although river and stream gauges remain elevated, they have ceased rising or are slowly falling.

A single lane of Kuhio Highway in Hanalei has reopened after flooding forced its closure. Forecasters said more rainfall would be possible through the morning.

Weather officials warn visitors and residents on Kauai to stay away from streams, rivers, drainage ditches, and culverts, even if they are currently dry.

Meanwhile, the upper-level low-pressure system to the west of the islands is set to combine with a nearby surface trough and threatens to bring heavy rains to all islands, possibly leading to flash flooding.

Windy conditions also persist, with northeast winds of 15 to 30 mph, and gusts up to 50 mph, for Kauai, and east winds of 10 to 25 mph for the rest of the state.

Although the flood watch for all islands is in effect through this afternoon, the potential for heavy showers will gradually ease tonight and Tuesday as winds weaken for the rest of the week, forecasters said. Trade winds could possibly return by the end of the week.

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