CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
A man sat on a bench with several umbrellas in yesterday's wet weather near Magic Island.
Heavy rain, flooding possible today
The worst of the storm has passed, but the ground is saturated
Forecasters say the islands dodged the worst of Tropical Depression Kenneth yesterday, but flooding is still possible today, with heavy showers expected on Oahu through tonight.
"We're not out of the woods yet," said Kevin Kodama, a National Weather Service hydrologist. "But it's been moving through quickly, so that helps keeps things drained."
Kenneth weakened into an unnamed storm yesterday, Kodama said, and much of its thundershowers stayed offshore.
A thunderstorm did bring high winds, with gusts up to 50 mph, to Kawaihae on the Big Island about 11:15 a.m. yesterday. Hawaii County Civil Defense head Lanny Nakano said the winds slightly damaged the roofs of two homes.
The heaviest rains fell in Manoa, which got more than 5 inches in the 24 hours ending at 5 p.m. yesterday. Over the same period, Glenwood and Mountain View on the Big Island got about 4 inches of rain.
Kodama said heavy showers saturated the ground in many parts of the state, increasing the threat of flooding and spurring the weather service to extend a flash flood watch for all islands through tomorrow.
"Just be prepared for the heavy rains that could come fairly quickly," Kodama said. "Even if it's blue skies, don't let your guard down."
On Maui yesterday the rains provided conditions ripe for flash flooding, causing officials to close Iao Valley's Kepaniwai Park and the Oheo pools in Haleakala National Park.
Big Island lifeguards closed Hapuna Beach from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. yesterday because high winds were whipping coconut fronds across the beach.
And Honolii, the popular surfing site north of Hilo, was also closed for about two hours because waters from a nearby river were rising rapidly and posing a threat.
Meanwhile, the state Department of Health has warned residents about the threat from brown water, which can contain sewage, chemicals or leptospirosis. "The public is advised to stay out of coastal waters impacted by storm water runoff," said Watson Okubo, supervisor of the Clean Water Monitoring Section.
Oahu Civil Defense said yesterday's rains caused no significant problems, but were to blame in a handful of minor traffic accidents.
City crews are also expected to monitor streams for debris through the weekend to guard against flooding. City spokesman Bill Brennan said workers were in Kahaluu yesterday afternoon, clearing a drain outlet on Helemano Street.
The rains caused the cancellation of several weekend events on Oahu, including Sunset on the Plains in Kapolei.
The state Department of Transportation also said work set for this weekend on the H-1 freeway westbound near the Pearl City offramp would be rescheduled for Friday.
Star-Bulletin writers Rod Thompson and Gary Kubota contributed to this report.