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Flood watch for Maui, Hawaii island canceled but rain may persist

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  • COURTESY NOAA/STAR
                                This radar image shows Maui and Hawaii island under a flood watch earlier today.

    COURTESY NOAA/STAR

    This radar image shows Maui and Hawaii island under a flood watch earlier today.

UPDATE: 3:50 p.m.

The National Weather Service has canceled the flood watch for Maui and the Big Island, according to Hawaii County officials.

“Periods of moderate to locally heavy rain are still expected this evening. However, flash flooding is no longer expected to pose a threat,” officials said at 3:30 p.m.

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The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for Maui and Hawaii island, effective through late tonight.

Forecasters warn that heavy rains are expected to develop over portions of Maui and Hawaii island due to several factors – an upper-level trough moving in from the west, a more moist environment over Hawaii’s eastern half, and a jet stream leading the way.

The heaviest rainfall amounts are forecast to fall along the windward slope of Haleakala in East Maui, forecasters said.

The public should beware of flood-prone roads and other low-lying areas that may be closed due to elevated runoff and overflowing streams.

“Urban areas may receive more significant flooding and property damage due to rapid runoff,” said forecasters in the advisory.

A flood watch means conditions are favorable for flash flooding, which is life threatening. The public should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should a flash flood warning be issued.

A winter storm warning also remains in effect for Big Isle summits until 6 p.m. today, with total snow accumulations of up to six inches are expected.

In addition to significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice, strong winds are possible, making travel to the summits very dangerous or impossible.

“Any travel plans to the summits should be postponed until the threat diminishes,” forecasters said.

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