Coastal Flooding Risks Possible Along Honoapi‘ilani Highway

November 27, 2019, 6:15 AM HST · Updated November 27, 6:15 AM
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Motorists across the state are reminded of coastal flooding risks this week due to unusually high water levels. On Maui, the Department of Transportation says the Honoapiʻilani Highway between Ukumehame and Olowalu is typically affected by coastal flooding and could be affected by debris from overtopping of roadways from the ocean.

The greatest potential for coastal flooding impacts will be during the peak high tides through Friday, Nov. 29, which will occur before sunrise during the early morning hours.

The National Weather Service has issued a special weather statement alerting Hawaiʻi residents and visitors of potential coastal flooding impacts.

HDOT reminds drivers of the following when driving in adverse conditions:

  • Never go through standing or moving water on the road. There may be dangers you can’t see beneath the water such as a road washout, debris, tree branches, or power lines. Flood waters can also affect a vehicle’s mechanisms years after the initial contact and may not always present a problem right away.
  • If you are driving through an area with shallow ponding, slow down to avoid hydroplaning and allow for increased stopping distance. If you cannot see the road or road markings through the water, do not try to drive through. Remember, stopping distance (the length of road your vehicle travels between when you press on the brake and your vehicle comes to a complete stop) increases when roads are wet.

HDOT crews are on standby to respond to reports of debris caused by overtopping on state roadways. By island, roads that are typically affected by coastal flooding include, but are not limited to:

  • Hawaiʻi Island – Bayfront Highway (Route 19) in Hilo.
  • Maui – Honoapiʻilani Highway (Route 30) between Ukumehame and Olowalu
  • Oʻahu – Farrington Highway (Route 93) in Nanakuli and Makaha; Kamehameha Highway (Route 83) from Hauula to Kualoa
  • Kauaʻi – Kūhiō Highway (Route 560) in the vicinity of the Hanalei Bridge; Kūhiō Highway (Route 560) at Waikoko

HDOT recommends that all drivers check weather reports before getting on the road.

King Tide at Olowalu (5.26.17) PC: Asa Ellison

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