Lanai receives tornado warning
Lanai was briefly under a tornado warning late last night, in the latest twist to Hawaii's bout with wild weather that has lasted several weeks.
At about 9:40 last night, a tornado warning was issued for Lanai City. Pete Donalds, a public service forecaster for the National Weather Service, said the warning was issued after radar showed a severe thunderstorm capable of creating a tornado. The warning was lifted at 10 p.m.
"Strong rotation" was detected in the thunderstorm, Donalds said, but no tornado was reported.
"It's pretty unusual, but there have been tornados here before," he said.
Residents contacted by the Star-Bulletin said there were high winds and strong thunderstorms at the time of warning, but they saw no tornados.
While the warning was lifted, all islands, except the Big Island, are still under a flash-flood watch through late tonight. A series of rainy weather systems have plagued the state since last month, hitting the north shores of Oahu and Kauai especially hard.
Yesterday on Oahu, city crews removed 27 truckloads of debris left by the second landslide in two days on Tantalus, both apparently caused by heavy rain.
The debris covered the 2700 block of Round Top Drive early yesterday, near where crew members removed 22 truckloads of debris on Wednesday, said city spokesman Bill Brennan.
"We're concerned for the safety of the public, especially motorists in that area," Brennan said.
With more thunderstorms predicted on the way, city and state officials are on alert.
Rainfall totals for the 24 hours until 5:45 p.m. yesterday showed 2 1/2 to 3 inches on Leeward Oahu.
Officials also responded to a rock and debris slide in Manoa that affected two homes. Peter Young, director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, attributed the slide to a stream overflow that came down the mountain and onto the property of the affected residents.
Crew members from the Department of Transportation responded to a small mudslide on the shoulder of the Kaneohe-bound lanes of the H-3 freeway before Mokapu Saddle Road at about 3 a.m. yesterday, said spokesman Scott Ishikawa.
In Halawa Heights, strong wind gusts ripped off about half of the roofing material of a resident's home at 99-930 Aumakiki Loop. The roof's structure remained intact.
Firefighters also responded early yesterday to flooding problems at a property at 87-729 Meaulu Road in Maili. Firefighters helped divert water from entering the property, near Maili Stream.
Between 11:50 p.m. and 12:20 a.m., a sewage spill occurred in Wahiawa due to the heavy downpour. About 700 gallons of untreated waste water at the Wahiawa Treatment Plant was believed to have entered Lake Wilson. Water samples were taken and warning signs were posted at the lake.
Reporters Mary Vorsino, Gary T. Kubota and Rosemarie Bernardo contributed to this report.