Statewide Flash Flood Watch Canceled After Winds, Rains Subside

Jan 12, 2020

Updated: 1/13/2020 5:13 p.m.

A flash flood watch has been canceled for all Hawaiian islands after wind and rain that impacted the islands over the weekend diminished Monday.

The National Weather Service said more typical trade winds will return with some showers, leaving behind the rains, heavy in some locations, that had prompted the flash flood watch.

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 10 feet is projected, with strong rip currents making swimming dangerous.

On Kauai, 13 hikers who were stranded due to flooded conditions in Hanakapiai Stream were rescued by Hanalei firefighters, the county said in a news release. No injuries were reported.

The Kalalau Trail, which has been closed since Thursday, remained off limits as of Monday afternoon, officials said.

On Sunday, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell had gathered representatives from several city agencies 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 Sunday news release. 

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

City officials were 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. 

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.