Rain expected to dwindle by game time
The storm system that dumped more than 6 inches of rain on Kauai and the Big Island is expected to pass Hawaii before the University of Hawaii football game Saturday, allowing fans to enjoy Hawaii's season finale with only light showers.
"It looks like the ballgame should be good," said lead forecaster Roy Matsuda at the National Weather Service. "Just a few showers, if any."
About 1 to 1 1/2 inches of rain fell in Honolulu yesterday and hit Oahu residents with some flooding, crashing thunder and lightning in the morning. A flash flood watch continued until late in the day for the western islands, and rain is expected to subside through this week as conditions for the heavy rain continue to move eastward.
The moisture in the air built up when the tradewinds died off, and an upper-level disturbance triggered the rainfall, said Wes Browning, director of operations for the weather service in Honolulu.
But forecasters see activity that could bring more rain to Oahu this weekend.
A weak storm front will move in on Saturday and stall over Oahu and Kauai.
"Saturday could be wet," Browning said. "We could be looking at some localized areas that get some pretty heavy downpours."
In the South Kona district on the Big Island, rain fell at the rate of 3 to 4 inches per hour, Browning said. At about 5 p.m. two women had to be airlifted to safety after water surrounded their homes, said Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim.
About 200 to 250 schoolchildren were stranded at their schools after runoff and landslides cut across Highway 11 between the 103 and 109 mile markers. Students from Honaunau School and Konawaena High, Middle and Elementary schools were taken home by bus after crews could clear one lane of the roadway, said Kim, who was heading Big Island Civil Defense.
The runoff also severed a waterline, cutting off water to thousands of people. There were also several reports of water entering homes.
More than 6 inches of rain fell within 12 hours.
"They're just getting hammered," Browning said.
On Kauai the Hanalei Bridge was closed for about three hours because of the heavy rain and a higher-than-normal tide that flooded Kuhio Highway near the bridge. Kauai officials also closed several roads because of flooding or boulders in the roadway, said Kauai County public information officer Mary Daubert.