DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Heavy rains caused Waialua residents to worry about flooding yesterday. Anthony Nery Jr. stood on a bridge that crosses Kaukonahua Stream, also known as Otake Stream, as debris clogged the waterway under the overpass.
CLICK FOR LARGE VERSION
Threat of more flooding looms
Forecasters say it will not take a major drenching for the already inundated islands to flood
The heavy showers that have drenched Oahu since Wednesday could be dissipating today, but forecasters are warning residents that even a moderate rain could cause flash floods.
"I think it's safe to say that most areas have received moderate to heavy rain across the state," said National Weather Service forecaster Vladimir Ryshko. "Certainly, the possibility of flooding is higher."
Rain is forecast for much of Oahu and Kauai through tonight, with quick-moving heavy showers likely in parts of Windward Oahu and the North Shore. A flash flood watch is in effect for all Hawaiian islands through 6 p.m. but could be extended.
Much of the island got moderate rain yesterday, which filled already raging streams and caused a few close calls.
At about 7:30 yesterday morning, Oahu Civil Defense officials warned Otake Camp residents in Waialua that overnight rains in Central Oahu had raised the water level in Lake Wilson to dangerous levels, threatening to overflow the dam and flow into their homes.
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
A red umbrella and stoplight at University Avenue and Varsity Place provided patches of color during yesterday's rain.
The water rose to a high of 83.2 feet, prompting police to prepare residents to evacuate to a shelter at Waialua District Park.
But the water slowly receded and no flooding was reported.
The city and the American Red Cross also opened an emergency shelter on the Brigham Young University-Hawaii campus in Laie.
Five people stayed at the shelter last night, after their home was flooded out late Wednesday.
Red Cross disaster services Director Maria Lutz said the family was expected to return to their home today. She also said the shelter will remain open "as long as there's a need."
At least two Oahu homes experienced minor flooding yesterday -- one on Komo Mai Drive in Pacific Palisades, and a second at a home on Monsarrat Avenue.
Firefighters helped pump water from the homes, said Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Kenison Tejada. They also assisted two hikers who found themselves stranded on the wrong side of the stream at Jackass Ginger. The women were uninjured.
The state Department of Transportation took advantage of breaks in yesterday's rains to clear debris from streams on Windward Oahu.
"We got an excavator to clear out under the bridges -- the Punaluu Bridge near Ching Store and the Waikane Stream Bridge," said state transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa.
He said crews also cleared culverts from Waiahole to Waialua.
Meanwhile, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources closed Kahana Valley State Park and Malaekahana State Recreation Area due to flooding. It also cautions swimmers and beachgoers to beware of sharks when entering the ocean following heavy rain.
To assist Windward residents whose businesses, farms, homes or other property were damaged by recent heavy rain and flooding, the state will open a Disaster Assistance and Recovery Center tomorrow, Sunday and Monday at Kualoa Ranch from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Salvation Army will also be there to hand out food, bags, tarpaulins, blankets, clothing vouchers and other basic necessities.
The top 10 rainfall totals, in inches, statewide for the 24-hour period ending at 5 p.m. yesterday:
Poamoho, Oahu: 12.38
Glenwood, Big Island: 9.48
Mountain View, Big Island: 7.78
Hakalau, Big Island: 6.75
Kapapala Ranch, Big Island: 6.66
Pahala, Big Island: 6.33
Mount Waialeale, Kauai: 5.61
Pacific Palisades, Oahu: 5.41
Piihonua, Big Island: 5.53
Kawailoa, Oahu: 5.4
Source: National Weather Service