Rain, pain to remain


POSTED: Friday, December 12, 2008

More than 70 residents of Leeward Oahu and the North Shore spent the night in Red Cross shelters in the aftermath of a downpour that dumped 14 inches of rain in a 12-hour period yesterday.






        Rainfalls for the 24-hour period ending at 5 p.m. yesterday:


  14.07 inches


Kaukonahua South Fork


  12.79 inches


Schofield Barracks


  11.81 inches


Makaha Stream


  11.65 inches


Upper Punaluu


  11.37 inches


Wheeler Air Field


  10.23 inches




  9.78 inches




  8.97 inches


Waianae Valley


  7.67 inches


Ahuimanu Loop


Muddy water rushed into homes in Ewa, Waipahu, Waianae, Haleiwa and Waialua as the fast-falling rain overflowed streams and storm drains were unable to carry water from flooding streets.

Rising water threatened to overflow Lake Wilson in Wahiawa, leading authorities to urge residents of Otake Village downstream to evacuate the low-lying area. Water overflowing the Waialua River pushed two Waialua Beach Road homes off foundation posts.

The displaced Waialua residents spent last night at a shelter at Liliuokalani Protestant Church in Haleiwa. Others stayed in shelters at Waianae District Park and the old gym at Brigham Young University-Hawaii.

Floodwaters also swept an unoccupied Ford F-150 truck down the stream into Haleiwa Harbor and carried other items including filing cabinets, kayaks and floating piers offshore, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

There were no reports of serious injury caused by the storm, said John Cummings of the city Department of Emergency Management. The agency closed its emergency operation center late yesterday afternoon, but workers remain on standby if the heavy rains resume, he said.

The rains also snarled traffic yesterday morning after floodwaters stalled cars on the zipper lane on the H-1 freeway. The city also closed Kili Drive in Makaha because of concerns that the road could collapse.

Another lingering traffic trouble spot was the Karsten Thot Bridge on Kamehameha Highway in Wahiawa, closed by a mudslide. State Department of Transportation crews were still working last night to clear the road, a route to the North Shore.

The storm left many of Hawaii's beaches potentially unsafe for swimming, according to the state Department of Health. The department advises people to stay out of streams and coastal waters that have turned brown from the runoff from flooded areas. The water could contain chemicals or harmful microorganisms from overflowing cesspools, animal feces and agricultural land runoff.

Warning signs will be posted by county and state officials.

Honolulu Fire Department companies were called to 118 scenes of flooded conditions in homes and businesses and responded to 228 weather-related calls between midnight and 2 p.m. yesterday.

About 14,000 homes and businesses were without electricity for different periods during the day due to branches falling on lines and flooding. By 6 p.m. Hawaiian Electric Co. reported power restored to all but 160 customers in several areas.

Hanauma Bay was closed in the morning because of storm surge, and officials were to decide this morning whether to continue the closure. The Honolulu Zoo, all city golf courses and botanical gardens were closed. The Polynesian Cultural Center and ferry tours to the Arizona Memorial shut down, and the state closed Diamond Head State Monument.

The Ewa Beach Neighborhood Board meeting scheduled for last night was canceled, as was the Honolulu City Lights musical program for Honolulu Hale.

;[Preview]    Storm Hits Hard On The Windward Side  

The Kamehahema highway was closed between Waikane and Hauula.


Watch ]





Warning signs are posted in several locations after the flooding led to sewage overflows. About 226,000 gallons of combined treated and untreated waste water ran from the city Wahiawa Wastewater Treatment Plant into Lake Wilson. About 10,000 gallons flowed from a drain line at Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant, about half entering a storm drain into Honolulu Harbor.

The Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe reported losing 40,000 gallons of untreated sewage into the Mokapu Central Drainage Channel and 2,000 gallons into Kaneohe Bay.

Some 675,000 gallons of partially treated sewage was discharged into Kaukonahua Stream from the Schofield Barracks Wastewater Treatment Plant. Another 90,000 gallons of untreated sewage overflowed from six manholes at Schofield Barracks and five manholes at Wheeler Army Airfield, and an additional 81,000 gallons was discharged into a storm drain system from the Army base plant operated by Aqua Engineers.

Heavy surf led to damage for several small boats, according to the state. Waves drove a 40-foot sailboat aground on the breakwater outside Magic Island lagoon. A state crew found it was leaking diesel fuel into the lagoon. The owner is responsible for removal, according to state officials.

A 37-foot sailboat was driven aground at Maunalua Bay.