Isle officials vigilant on rain fallout
Rain is expected to ease following 2 days of deluges while residents brace against floods, sewage and boulders
STORY SUMMARY »
Weather and emergency officials are keeping an eye on rainstorms that have soaked the islands.
Oahu and Kauai were under a flash flood watch until 6 this morning due to potentially heavy showers and saturated ground.
Rain plagued portions of Oahu and Kauai -- 0.72 inches in 15 minutes was reported in Olomana last night -- causing runoff into streams and the ocean. The Health Department was investigating several sewage spills from Sunday's rain, including 2 million gallons that flowed into Pearl Harbor.
Government workers and volunteers unclogged drains and cleared debris under bridges and posted warnings to stay out of floodwaters.
FULL STORY »
Oahu and Kauai remained under a flash flood watch early today due to potentially heavy showers and ground already saturated from Sunday's downpours. The watch was canceled for the rest of the state and was due to be lifted for Oahu and Kauai at 6 a.m.
Heavy rainfall continued to plague portions of Oahu and Kauai yesterday, causing runoff into streams and the ocean.
The state Department of Transportation took no chances and cleared debris from the stream at the Waikane Stream bridge to prevent flooding of Kamehameha Highway.
The transportation crews also checked other Windward Oahu sites and found other culverts and areas near bridges to be relatively free of debris.
Crews used heavy machinery yesterday afternoon in Waikane to remove tree branches, huge logs, mud and muck that partially dammed up the stream, said transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa.
This section of low-lying roadway is particularly susceptible to flooding when the rain-swollen stream meets ocean waters at high tide, he explained.
Traffic had to be contra-flowed from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. to complete the work.
Reports of boulders apparently loosened by the rain came in Sunday and yesterday. A Lanikai woman who asked not to be identified said an 8- to 10-ton boulder crashed through a sliding glass door and into her living room at about 4 a.m. Sunday.
A slow-moving Kona low-pressure system was 250 miles southwest of Kauai yesterday and moving away from the islands. The system causes heavy showers and thunderstorms.
The weather is expected to return to tradewind weather by tomorrow, with moderate tradewinds Thursday, said John Bravender, lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in Honolulu.
Scattered heavy showers brought up to half an inch during the day across Kauai and Oahu.
A high-surf advisory was in effect for south-facing shores yesterday.
Winds caused the 6- to 10-foot faces of a large swell yesterday to be blown out and not conducive for surfing, said Department of Emergency Services spokesman Bryan Cheplic.
There were three rescues, but nothing significant due to poor surfing conditions, Cheplic said.
South Shore waves are expected to decline to 5- to 8-foot heights from 6 to 10 feet. North Shore surf was 5 to 8 feet yesterday and will likely lower to 3 to 6 feet today.
The heavy rain is causing runoff, which can increase the presence of sharks in nearshore waters, the Department of Land and Natural Resources warned.
"This may include dead animals and stream fish weakened by exposure to salt water, which will attract sharks," said Laura Thielen, DLNR director.
Star-Bulletin reporter Brian McInnis contributed to this report.