Hawaii flash flooding: Residents braced for more downpours

Image copyright EPA Image caption Residents are bracing for more severe weather

Parts of Hawaii are bracing for more heavy rain and flooding after some areas saw more than a foot of rain in less than 48 hours.

Major roads around Honolulu are blocked and flooding has cut off homes in the Central Valley of Hawaii.

Weather forecasters say an east-flowing current, called a tropical cyclone, is crossing the islands.

The storm has formed and weakened across the state. But, at the moment, there is no threat to Hawaii residents.

About 15cm (6in) of rain has fallen in Hilo over the past two days, according to the National Weather Service.

Image copyright AP Image caption Storm clouds hover over a golf course on Hawaii’s Big Island

The deep tropical storm force winds of more than 90mph (145km/h) were forecast to pass out to sea, so the weather system has been reduced to a tropical depression.

The storm is forecast to weaken further as it moves through the central Pacific this evening.

But gusts of 80mph to 100mph are expected to continue along the central coast.

Residents of north-western Big Island are bracing for more severe weather. Floodwaters are expected to rise quickly, and emergency warnings have been issued.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption The storm is still reaching severe conditions across Hawaii, hours after it passed

Authorities have warned people to stay home if possible, and to avoid travelling on roads during the height of the storm.

By Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service office in Honolulu said that parts of the state remained dangerously inundated.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Airports on the Big Island are being cancelled

Parts of Interstate H-1 and the main state highway, H-1F, had received more than a foot of rain in less than 48 hours, it said, and other roads had seen about 2.5 inches.

Floodwaters can cover driveways and stop cars on roads with only a few inches of water.

Heavy rain caused severe flooding in Hawaii County, Hawaii’s second most populous, on Tuesday, as well as damage to buildings on the Big Island, the US state’s largest island.

A boat sank and a 100-year-old submarine built during World War II was found to be lying on its side after the storm in waters just offshore from Kailua-Kona.

Airports are being closed across the state because of the high winds.

In Kauai, Governor Duke Aiona declared a state of emergency as fears of water shortages took hold.

Leave a Comment