Flash flood warning for Maui, high surf advisory issued for most isles
Jan. 27—UPDATE: 4 p.m.
The National Weather Service has extended the flash flood warning for Maui to 7 p.m.
At 3:45 p.m., radar indicated heavy rain continuing to affect the slopes of Haleakala, NWS reported. The most intense rainfall recently has been over the Hana area with rain rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour.
The Maui Emergency Management Agency, meanwhile, reported that Pulehu Road has been closed above the landfill. South Kihei Road remains closed near Kulanihakoi Gulch, and Piilani Highway also remains closed near Nuu.
Haleakala National Park Summit District is partially closed due to severe weather, according to the National Park Service. Travel to the summit for sunset viewing is not advised due to hazardous weather conditions.
Forecasters expect heavy rainfall to continue to move over the slopes of Haleakala into the evening hours.
Some locations that will experience flash flooding include Kahului, Kihei, Kula, Keokea, Pukalani, Makawao, Haliimaile, Keanae, Huelo, Kipahulu, Haiku-Pauwela, Kaupo, Nahiku, Ulupalakua, Wailea, Pauwela, Paia, Makena, Puunene and Maalaea.
"Stay away from streams, rivers, drainage ditches, and culverts, even if they are currently dry," said the NWS in the warning. "Do not cross fast flowing or rising water in your vehicle, or on foot. Turn around, don't drown."
The National Weather Service has canceled the flood advisory for Maui. In its place is a flash flood warning for the island as heavy rains continue to fall along the slopes of Haleakala.
At 12:59 p.m., radar indicated peak rain rates of 1 to 3 inches along the windward slopes from Haiku to Hana. Upcountry Maui is also experiencing heavy rainfall.
The downpour is expected to produce flooding in normally dry gulches in the Kihei and Wailea areas.
Forecasters expect additional rainfall over the island from the east through the afternoon.
The National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for the island of Maui, effective until 1:30 p.m. today, due to excessive rainfall.
At 10:26 a.m., radar indicated heavy showers spread into the Kihei area, with rain falling at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour. Officials said stream gauges showed elevated water levels, and that additional showers are expected to develop through mid-day.
Some locations that will experience flooding include Kahului, Kihei, Kula, Keokea, Pukalani, Makawao, Haliimaile, Keanae, Huelo, Kipahulu, Haiku-Pauwela, Kaupo, Nahiku, Ulupalakua, Wailea, Pauwela, Paia, Makena, Puunene and Maalaea.
"Rainfall and runoff will also cause hazardous driving conditions due to ponding, reduced visibility and poor braking action," officials warned in the advisory.
Minor flooding is expected on roads, in poor drainage areas and streams.
A flood watch is also in effect for all of Maui County through Sunday afternoon, with clouds and showers expected over the next few days.
Forecasters warn of a "disturbance aloft" that will increase the potential for locally heavy rainfall late Saturday and Sunday, possibly requiring an expansion of the flood watch.
Additionally, a high surf advisory remains in effect for the north facing shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, and Maui, until 6 p.m. today as a large swell continues to decline.
Surf of 12 to 16 feet is expected along these shoes, with strong, breaking waves, and currents that will make swimming dangerous.
The public should heed all advice from ocean safety officials.
"When in doubt, don't go out," said officials.