Emergency managers urge caution amid risks of flooding, landslides and gusty winds
Managers from the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency are urging the public to exercise caution amid risks statewide of flooding, landslides and gusty winds.
“An unstable weather pattern over Hawai‘i will bring the risk of hazardous weather from east to west across the state this weekend,” prompting advice from HI-EMA to be prepared and use caution.
Maui is under a Flood Warning until at least 10 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27; and a Flood Watch remains in place for all of Maui County through Sunday afternoon, Jan. 29, 2023.
Heavy rain throughout Friday across windward Maui resulted in road closures, led to the partial closure of the summit area of Haleakalā National Park, flooded low-lying areas and reportedly contributed to at least one critical injury involving a firefighter who was swept into a storm drain during flood response.
The Maui Emergency Management Agency activated its Emergency Operation Center and asked residents to report structural property damage online.
“A Flood Watch for O’ahu is set to start Saturday, and the island could see winds gusting to 45 mph by Monday. Kaua’i also may see high winds and locally heavy rainfall,” according to a HI-EMA news release.
“This weather pattern presents several different hazards at different places within the state, and we’re urging our residents and visitors to be careful and prepared,” said Luke Meyers, Administrator of the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency.
Sign up for alerts for any county in Hawai‘i by following the links on this page: https://dod.hawaii.gov/hiema/get-ready/
Here are some additional tips in the event severe weather threatens:
- Avoid unnecessary travel when heavy rain is in the forecast; it can reduce visibility, make it harder to stop, and can cause flooding in low-lying areas, especially when culverts become clogged with debris.
- Do not cross flowing water in your vehicle or on foot. “Turn around, don’t drown!”
- Do not go near downed power lines.
- Secure items around your home or lānai that may become airborne in high winds.
- Waterlogged soil on steep terrain increases the risk of landslides. Be aware of the hazards around you.
- Make a plan in case flooding or property damage makes it unsafe to stay in your home, work, or other location. Identify an escape route, a place to meet if family members get separated, and a point of contact in another area to connect with if local communication systems fail.
- Check to make sure you have spare batteries for flashlight and portable radio; use extra caution to avoid fires if the power goes out and you use candles for light.
- Pack a “go kit” with items you would need if you must relocate in a hurry, such as food, water, a flashlight, a battery-powered or crank-charged radio, etc.
Learn more about go kits here.