Statewide Flash Flood Watch In Effect With More Winds, Rain In The Forecast

15 hours ago

Updated: 1/13/2020 5:40 a.m.

A flash flood watch has been posted for all Hawaiian islands through Monday afternoon as more wind and rain are forecast for the start of the workweek.

The National Weather Service said conditions remain moist and unstable and the ground in many windward and upslope areas of the islands have been soaked. Trade winds will bring more rains, possibly heavy in some locations, which could feed streams and rivers and increase the chances of flash flooding.

A high surf advisory remains in effect through Thursday morning for east-facing shores of Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Hawaii Island and Oahu. Surf up to 12 feet is projected with strong rip currents making swimming dangerous.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell gathered representatives from several city agencies on Sunday at the city's Emergency Operations Center.

"In an abundance of caution we are bringing together our public safety officials to discuss the effects of this weekend’s weather, including possible safety precautions," Caldwell said in a news release. "Please continue to monitor local media, in addition to updates from the national weather service.”

The mayor also urged residents to sign up for the HNLInfo emergency alerts to receive weather-related notices.

City officials are monitoring dams and streams for possible flooding, including the Wahiawa Reservoir which was reported elevated on Sunday. The city also advised those in flood-prone areas such as downstream from Lake Wilson in Waialua to be prepared in case conditions deteriorate. 

“We will be monitoring the situation very closely and respond as needed,” stated Hiro Toiya, director of the city Department of Emergency Management. 

Over the weekend, the weather caused the closure of several roadways around the state.

Debris shut down one Kailua-bound lane of Pali Highway by the hairpin turn past the tunnels Sunday before it was cleared and reopened at around 6:30 p.m.

On the Big Island, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Hamakua, North and South Hilo, Kau and Puna early Sunday then canceled it by 8:30 p.m., according to the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency. A portion of Highway 11 in Kau was closed because of the threat of flooding but reopened later in the evening. Hilo's Bayfront Highway, Kamehameha Highway and Pauahi remained closed as of 7 p.m.

Earlier in the day, a portion of the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road), was also closed but was then reopened. 

Maui also was came under a flash flood warning Sunday morning, with heavy rains reported over the Hana coast and along windward Haleakala. The warning has since been lifted, but Maui along with the rest of the state, remain under a flash flood watch.

A flash flood watch means conditions exist that could lead to flooding. NWS advises residents and visitors not to cross fast-flowing water on foot or in vehicles.

More information is available on the National Weather Service Hawaii page.