Monday, May 17, 1999

Oahu expected
to get more rain
through tonight

Yesterday's downpour caused
36 traffic cases and motorists
are urged to be careful today

By Rod Ohira


Rain-soaked Oahu can expect more showers through tonight, creating hazardous driving conditions.

Art "Roads coated with oil and dirt become very slippery when wet, especially after a long dry spell like we've had," said National Weather Service lead forecaster Bob Farrell. "There's a lot of ponding, sliding and hydroplaning."

Police reported 35 traffic cases during a 12-hour period starting at 4 p.m. yesterday, when between 1 and 2 inches of rain drenched parts of Oahu.

Sections of Kauai got nearly 3 inches, said Farrell.

Queen's Hospital admitted six people seriously injured in traffic incidents on Oahu yesterday. Their conditions ranged from guarded to fair this morning, said a nursing supervisor.

A 28-year-old police officer was the most seriously injured. He suffered a broken pelvis and other injuries to the lower part of his body after crashing his blue-and-white cruiser in Makakilo.

The officer is listed in guarded but stable condition.

He was responding to a robbery when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a utility pole on Makakilo Drive, near Palailai Street, at 4:50 p.m.

The impact knocked the utility pole off its base and pinned the officer in his car. It took firefighters using two Jaws of Life about an hour to free him.

"It was a difficult situation because the dashboard and side were caved in," Makakilo fire Capt. Richard Ochoa said. Emergency Medical Services personnel attended to the officer while firefighters worked on the vehicle.

Weather forecasters say there's a chance of thundershowers late today. A flash-flood watch was in effect this morning.

"The conditions will improve gradually," Farrell said. "Right now the heavy showers are moving east and north across the island, and there's only light wind."

Hawaii Electric Co. reported several weather-related power outages, including one early today in Waialua caused by a fallen pole that affected service to 300 customers for about two hours.

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