Monday, August 15

Hawaii in a state of emergency due to potentially “catastrophic” floods


Maui County has been one of the hardest hit by heavy rains in the state.

Photo: Kat Wade / Getty Images

Hawaii is in danger of experiencing “catastrophic” flooding due to a storm system that will last until Tuesday., reported the National Weather Service (NWS) in Honolulu.

The Honolulu NWS details that nearly a foot of rain has fallen on the town of Kula, Maui, over the past 24 hours.

Total rainstorm amounts were anticipated at 10-15 inches, with possible isolated areas that would reach 20 to 25 inches, according to NWS.

On Isla Grande, about 8 inches of rain has fallen in the last 24 hours in several areas, but began to decrease on Monday morning.

Despite that, heavy rains are still expected on Maui, Oahu and Kauai for the remainder of Monday, prompting a flash flood warning for the islands of Molokai and Maui.

Localized rainfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour will exacerbate ongoing flooding from previous rains. Leeward portions of Maui have received more than six inches of rain in the past six hours, and runoff remains high, ”noted NWS Honolulu.

Also, landslides are expected, and in some cases, roads may be closed due to flooding and landslides, which could isolate communities.

The flood warning will remain until Tuesday afternoon for all the Hawaiian islands. A “Kona storm” has been responsible for dragging strong tropical humidity over the state, bringing with it heavy rains, NWS noted.

“Numerous landslides are expected in areas with steep terrain. Urban areas, especially on Oahu, can suffer severe flooding, “warned NWS.

Isolated highways, such as the Belt Highway in the Kau d Big Island district and the Piilani Highway in Maui, may be closed in one or more places, resulting in long detours or even isolation of communities, ”added NWS.

Also the Maui County public schools closed on Monday due to the possibility of flooding, as well as power outages that have already begun to be experienced, the Hawaii Public Schools said on Sunday.

Since the weekend the blizzard warnings for the mountain peaks on the Big Island remained in effect, which received strong winds and winter weather that caused the temporary closure of access to the summit on Mauna Loa during the past week.

“This morning a winter weather advisory was issued for the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island above 12,000 feet in elevation and will remain in effect until 6:00 pm (local time),” stated the NWS .

With information from CNN

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