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Flash Flood Watch Issued for Maui County; Flood Advisory for Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi

October 22, 2017, 8:47 AM HST · Updated October 23, 10:27 PM
Nikki Schenfeld · 12 Comments
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Update 10:26 p.m. Oct 23: A STRONG THUNDERSTORM WILL AFFECT MOLOKAI IN MAUI COUNTY

At 10:17 p.m., a strong thunderstorm was located 7 miles south of Mauna Loa, moving north at 35 mph.

Wind gusts up to 50 mph are possible with this storm.

Locations impacted include Hoolehua, Maunaloa, Kualapuu, Kalaupapa National Park, Kaunakakai, Kepuhi and Molokai Airport.

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Torrential rainfall is also occurring with this storm, and may cause localized flooding. Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways.

Frequent cloud to ground lightning is occurring with this storm. Lightning can strike 10 miles away from a thunderstorm. Seek a safe shelter inside a building or vehicle.

Update 9:50 p.m. Oct. 23:

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The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a Flood Advisory for Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi until 12:45 a.m. Tuesday.

At 9:37 p.m., radar indicated a band of heavy showers with embedded thunderstorms shifting eastward over Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi. Rainfall rates up to 1 to 2 inches per hour are expected in the heavier showers.

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.

Locations in the advisory include all of Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi.

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 braking action.

Do not cross fast flowing or rising water in your vehicle, or on foot. Turn around, don’t drown.

This advisory may need to be extended beyond 12:45 a.m. if heavy rain persists.

A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect through 6 p.m. Tuesday.

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The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for Maui County in effect from 6 a.m. Monday to Tuesday afternoon.

Ominous clouds over Central Maui during Flash Flood Warning event, 9/3/15. Photos by Wendy Osher.

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding.

Heavy showers associated with an upper trough and cold front moving down the island chain could result in flash flooding Monday through Tuesday. Heavy rain could become widespread and cause streams to quickly overflow their banks, leading to life threatening flash flooding.

The NWS asks persons to continue to monitor the weather forecast and have a reliable way to get warnings for your location.

Be prepared to take immediate action if flash flood warnings are issued.

Campers and hikers should consider rescheduling their outings to time when weather is expected to be more favorable.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be raining heavily where you are for flash flooding to occur.

Maui County Emergency Management Agency will continue to monitor the situation.

Nikki Schenfeld
Nikki joined the Maui Now team in 2016 as a writer/reporter. Originally from Chicago, she has had internships with CBS2 Chicago and Comcast SportsNet Chicago where she had the opportunity to interview some of Chicago's best athletes. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism. She moved to Maui in 2013.

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