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Maui Flash Flood Watch Continues, 11 Evacuated from ʻĪao

Posted September 12, 2016, 06:35 PM HST Updated September 13, 2016, 11:59 PM HST
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FLOOD WARNING EXTENDED TO 10 P.M.:
The National Weather Service has CANCELLED the Flash Flood Warning for the island of Maui as of 9:35 p.m., but a FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL THURSDAY AFTERNOON.

Weather radar and rain gauges showed that the heavy rains have ended.  However, runoff may continue for the next few hours.  While the immediate threat of flash flooding has ended, Maui remains within a flash flood watch area.

Heavy rains and overflowing streams have shut down highways and forced evacuations in some neighborhoods on Maui tonight.

ROAD CLOSURES:

We have multiple road closures in effect.

HONOAPIILANI HWY RE-OPENS: As of 11:30 p.m., Maui police had reopened the Honoapiʻilani Highway in both directions; However, traffic remained backed up and clean-up was ongoing. Motorists are advised to drive with caution, and be advised that the highway may close again at any time due to flooding, debris or other safety issues.

((EARLIER THIS EVENING: the Honoapiʻilani Highway was impassible in both directions due to a landslide on the Kīhei side of the Pali tunnel.  At 10 p.m., the highway remained closed between North Kīhei Road and Puamana due to severe flooding and landslides.  The Honoapiʻilani Highway was also closed in several areas due to Ukumehame River overflowing and landslides near mile marker 1 and another near mile marker 7.))

There are also multiple road conditions affecting the Hāna Highway, including advisories at Honomanū that resulted in a closure in both directions at that location at around 9 p.m.  Hāna Highway is closed in several areas from mile markers 14 to 16 due to large landslides.

At 9:30 p.m., there were multiple reports of landslides near Koki Beach in Hāna, and a landslide on the Hāna Highway near Mile 25 in Nāhiku, with a landslide that measured 4-feet deep and 50-feet wide.

Thick mud blocks the entrance gate to Kepaniwai Park in Iao Valley. Photo: County of Maui / Lois Whitney

Thick mud blocks the entrance gate to Kepaniwai Park in Iao Valley. Photo: County of Maui / Lois Whitney

11 Evacuated from ʻĪao Valley

As of 9:27 p.m., ʻĪao Valley Road is completely closed at Alu Road.  Police and fire crews also helped to evacuate 11 residents out of ʻĪao Valley tonight. More residents may have self-evacuated from Happy Valley.

Several portions of the Haʻikū area near the Paʻuwela reservoir are also impacted by inclement weather and flooding.

Kepaniwai Park in ʻĪao Valley is closed until further notice; assessments will be conducted in the morning.

SHELTERS:

The County Emergency Operations Center is currently activated.

The Maui Civil Defense agency had opened two shelters as of 9 p.m.–one at the War Memorial Gym, and the other at the Lahaina Civic Center.  A third shelter at Hāna High and Elementary School was opened as of 10:15 p.m.

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PREVIOUS WEATHER UPDATES:

* At 757 p.m. radar indicated heavy rain continues across the warning area. In addition to the 2 to 4 inch per hour rates noted on radar and on gauges, flooding a landslide have been reported in the Māʻalaea area. The ʻĪao and Honokohau streams remain above flood stage.  This flash flood warning includes the entire Island of Maui.

* AT 658 PM HST…RADAR INDICATED HEAVY RAIN ACROSS MULTIPLE AREAS
ON MAUI…INCLUDING ACROSS WINDWARD HALEAKALA SLOPES AND ACROSS
WINDWARD AND SOUTHEAST FACING SLOPES OF THE WEST MAUI MOUNTAINS.
RAINFALL RATES IN EXCESS OF 2 INCHES PER HOUR WERE NOTED IN THESE
AREAS. MULTIPLE STREAMS ON MAUI WERE APPROACHING FLOOD STAGE. THE
AREAS OF HEAVY RAINFALL ARE NEARLY STATIONARY AND EXPANDING IN
SIZE.

* THIS WARNING INCLUDES THE ENTIRE ISLAND OF MAUI AND SUPERCEDES THE
PREVIOUS FLASH FLOOD WARNING.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

At 4:53 p.m., radar showed heavy rain and thunderstorms over portions of the Hāna coast, with intense rainfall impacting Hāna, Hāmoa and Haʻikū-Paʻuwela. Another area of intense rainfall has also developed over the SW slopes of Haleakalā, upstream from Mākena and Wailea. Runoff from this intense rainfall will likely lead to flash flooding in gulches that periodically flood in both Wailea and Mākena. Rainfall rates as high as three inches per hour are possible.

Locations in the warning include: Paʻuwela, Kīpahulu, ʻUlupalakua, Wailea, Huelo, Nāhiku, Haʻikū-Paʻuwela and Pāʻia.

At 4:11 pm radar indicated heavy rain that was nearly stationary over the Hāna slopes and coast between Nāhiku and Hāmoa with another area of very heavy rain over the north shore of Maui between Huelo and Pāʻia. Rainfall rates greater than two inches per hour will maintain the threat of flash flooding.

Locations in the warning include but are not limited to Haʻikū-Paʻuwela, Paʻuwela, Huelo, Nāhiku, Hāna, Kīpahulu, Kailua, Wailua and Haleakalā National Park.

At 2:55 p.m., heavy rain continued over portions of Maui with the most intense cells currently near Hāna in East Maui.  Emergency management officials report water on the road near Waiheʻe Elementary School.  A barrier was also washed out along the Hāna Highway at Mile 3 near Huelo, leaving just one lane open.  Front Street in Lahaina has standing water, but remained open at last report.

At 2:29 p.m., radar showed thunderstorms producing heavy rain across windward West Maui, in an area already saturated by recent heavy rains.   Rainfall rates of between 2-3 inches per hour were reported.  Areas most likely to be impacted by flash flooding are Waiehu and Waiheʻe.  Heavy rain is also reported over the lower windward slopes of Haleakalā including Haʻikū and Pāʻia, as well as Hāna.

At 1:10 p.m., the Maui Civil Defense agency reported flooding in Pukalani that was threatening homes.

Heavy showers with rainfall rates of between 1-2 inches per hour was also impacting other areas on Maui and stream levels are high and continue to rise.

Weather spotters and Civil Defense report heavy rain and ponding in Waiehu and Waiheʻe near Waiheʻe School.

Locations in the Warning include: Honokōhau, Paʻuwehla, Huelo, Pāʻia, Pukalani, Makawao and Puʻunēnē.

A FLASH FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT FLOODING IN IMMINENT OR OCCURRING IN
STREAMS…ROADS…AND LOW LYING AREAS. MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND NOW.

DO NOT CROSS FAST FLOWING WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE…OR ON FOOT. TURN
AROUND…DON/T DROWN.

FLOOD WATCH EXTENDED TO THURSDAY AFTERNOON: (Update: 3:43 p.m. 9.13.16)

A Flash Flood Watch has been extended through Thursday afternoon for Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi and the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service say a “very moist and unstable air mass” is interacting with an upper level trough that is resulting in unsettle weather with the potential for flash flooding.

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PREVIOUS POSTS:

FLOOD ADVISORY EXTENDED UNTIL 2:30 P.M.: (Update: 12:45 p.m.; 11:44 a.m. 9.13.16)

The National Weather Service has EXTENDED the FLOOD ADVISORY for MAUI ISLAND in effect until 2:30 p.m.

A Flood Advisory means that nuisance flooding is occurring or imminent.  A Flood Advisory may be upgraded to a Flash Flood Warning if flooding worsens and poses a threat to life and property.

This advisory may need to be extended if heavy rain persists.

At 12:41 p.m., radar showed heavy rain falling over most of Windward East Maui from Hāna to Keʻanae to Pāʻia.  In addition, the NWS reports that a rain gauge in Haʻikū recently reported rain fallign at a rate of over two inches per hour.  Gauges indicate rising water levels in most windward streams.

At 11:35 a.m. radar indicated moderate to heavy showers affecting many areas in windward Maui, with rain rates between one and two inches per hour in the heaviest of showers.

Locations in this advisory include but are not limited to: Kahului, Hāliʻimaile, Honokōhau, Paʻuwela, Huelo, Kahakuloa, Haʻikū-Paʻuwela, Nāhiku, Keʻanae, Waiheʻe, and Waiehu.

PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES:  STAY AWAY FROM STREAMS, DRAINAGE DITCHES AND LOW LYING AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING.  RAINFALL AND RUNOFF WILL ALSO CAUSE HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS DUE TO PONDING, REDUCED VISIBILITY AND POOR BREAKING ACTION.  DO NOT CROSS FAST FLOWING OR RISING WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE OR ON FOOT.  TURN AROUND…DON’T DROWN.

Update: 3:22 a.m. HST Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch that remains in effect through Wednesday Afternoon, Sept. 14, 2016.

NWS forecaster say a “very moist and unstable air mass” and and “upper level trough” will interact, resulting in unsettled weather with the potential for flooding over the eastern part of the island chain through Wednesday.

The flood watch is in effect for Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi and the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.

The public is advised to monitor upcoming forecasts, and be prepared to take action, should flash flood warnings be issued.

The Flood Warning that was in effect for the island of Maui has since been cancelled.  Heavy rains and thunder showers were reported over the West Maui mountains as well from Spreckelsville to Hāna between 6 p.m. and midnight on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2016.

Over the 12 hour period ending at 4 a.m. today, rain gauges showed more than 3 inches of rain had fallen at Puʻu Kukui.  There was also more than 2 ½ inches of rain at Kahakuloa, nearly 2 inches in Wailuku, and about 1 ½ inches in both Waikapū and Haʻikū.

UPDATE: 8:51 p.m. HST, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016

The National Weather Service has extended the Flash Flood Warning for the island of Maui until 12:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016.

Forecasters with the NWS say radar at 8:44 p.m. indicated heavy rain continues to fall over the West Maui Mountains.

The agency says another area of heavy rain is also moving into the Windward areas between Spreckelsville and Hāmoa in East Maui.

According to the NWS, rain was falling at a rate of up to two inches per hour.

Locations in the advisory include: Kahului, Lahaina, Waikapū, Nāhiku, Māʻalaea, Paʻuwela, Huelo, Pāʻia, Makawao and Puʻunēnē

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS:  A flash flood warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring in streams, roads and low-lying areas.  The public is reminded not to cross fast flowing or rising water in their vehicle or on foot.

The warning may need to be extended beyond 12:15 a.m. if heavy rain persists.

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Previous Post:

The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Warning for the island of Maui until 9:15 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 12, 2016

At 6:21 p.m., radar indicated heavy rain between Kahului and Hāna that was falling at a rate of 2 inches per hour.

Locations in the warning include but are not limited to: Kahului, Kīhei, Lahaina, Waikapū, Māʻalaea, Honokōhau, Paʻuwela, Huelo, Pāʻia, Makawao, Hāna and Puʻunēnē.

_____

Previous Post:

The National Weather Service has ISSUED a FLOOD ADVISORY for MAUI ISLAND in effect until 9:15 p.m.

A Flood Advisory means that nuisance flooding is occurring or imminent. A Flood Advisory may be upgraded to a Flash Flood Warning if flooding worsens and poses a threat to life and property.

This advisory may need to be extended if heavy rain persists.

EFFECTS: At 610 pm radar indicated heavy rain falling across the windward sections of Maui between Kahului and Hana, and the West Maui Mountains. Rain was falling at a rate up to 2 inches an hour. Expect rainy conditions to persist for the next couple of hours.

Locations in the advisory include but are not limited to, Wailuku, Kahului, Kaanapali, Waikapu, Pauwela, Huelo, Paia, Makawao and Puunene.

PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: STAY AWAY FROM STREAMS, DRAINAGE DITCHES AND LOW LYING AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING. RAINFALL AND RUNOFF WILL ALSO CAUSE HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS DUE TO PONDING, REDUCED VISIBILITY AND POOR BREAKING ACTION. DO NOT CROSS FAST FLOWING OR RISING WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE OR ON FOOT. TURN AROUND…DON’T DROWN.

Satellite imagery as of 10 p.m. 9.13.16. Image credit: NOAA/NWS.

Satellite imagery as of 10 p.m. 9.13.16. Image credit: NOAA/NWS.

PC: Kawaipapa Bridge in East Maui 9.13.16. Lehua Cosma - Hāna, Maui.

PC: Kawaipapa Bridge in East Maui 9.13.16. Lehua Cosma – Hāna, Maui.

Waterfall looking toward Launiupoko in West Maui. PC: Barb Greenhalgh.

Waterfall looking toward Launiupoko in West Maui. PC: Barb Greenhalgh.

Wailuku, Maui during Flash Flood Warning on Tuesday afternoon, 9.13.16. PC: Wendy Osher.

Wailuku, Maui during Flash Flood Warning on Tuesday afternoon, 9.13.16. PC: Wendy Osher.

Wailuku, Maui during Flash Flood Warning on Tuesday afternoon, 9.13.16. PC: Wendy Osher.

Wailuku, Maui during Flash Flood Warning on Tuesday afternoon, 9.13.16. PC: Wendy Osher.

Wailuku, Maui during Flash Flood Warning on Tuesday afternoon, 9.13.16. PC: Wendy Osher.

Wailuku, Maui during Flash Flood Warning on Tuesday afternoon, 9.13.16. PC: Wendy Osher.

Wailuku, Maui during Flash Flood Warning on Tuesday afternoon, 9.13.16. PC: Wendy Osher.

Wailuku, Maui during Flash Flood Warning on Tuesday afternoon, 9.13.16. PC: Wendy Osher.

Hydrology, 11 a.m. 9.13.16 imagery courtesy NOAA/NWS.

Hydrology, 11 a.m. 9.13.16 imagery courtesy NOAA/NWS.

Flash flood watch, 3:30 a.m. 9.13.16 satellite imagery courtesy NOAA/NWS.

Flash flood watch, 3:30 a.m. 9.13.16 satellite imagery courtesy NOAA/NWS.

Flash flood warning, 8:30 p.m. 9.12.16 satellite imagery courtesy NOAA/NWS.

Flash flood warning, 8:30 p.m. 9.12.16 satellite imagery courtesy NOAA/NWS.

Flash Flood Warning for Maui 9/12/16. Radar Image: NOAA/NWS.

Flash Flood Warning for Maui 9/12/16. Radar Image: NOAA/NWS.

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