Wind advisory in place as high surf pounds north shores

Jan. 16—UPDATE: 11:30 a.m.

The flood advisory for the island of Maui expired at 11:30 a.m., but not before wreaking havoc.

Maui County officials reported numerous road closures, while firefighters responded to multiple flood-related calls along South Kihei Road this morning.

Around 8:45 a.m., Maui Fire Department's Air One helicopter rescued two people from their vehicle, which was trapped in fast-rising floodwaters along South Kihei Road near Kaonoulu Street. Maui firefighters also helped another three people to safety on foot from vehicles stalled in floodwaters.

MPD reported several flood-related road closures, including South Kihei and Kaonoulu; South Kihei near Uwapo Street; South Kihei Road from North Kihei to Kulanihakoi Road; Hana at Hanakai; and Piilani Highway from Mile Marker 19 to 21 in Kaupo.

The following parks on Maui remain closed due to flooding: Kalepolepo Beach Park in Kihei, Kanaha at Ka'a Point in Kahului and Hana Ball Park in Hana.

On Hawaii island, Onekahakaha Beach Park in Hilo will remain closed today.

On Oahu, more than 13,000 people are without power this morning, according to Hawaiian Electric's outage map — from Ala Moana and Kakaako to Aina Haina, Hawaii Kai, Waimanalo, Kailua, Kaneohe and Temple Valley.

EARLIER COVERAGE

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for all isles through midnight as a cold front approaches from the west.

Southwest winds of 20 to 30 mph, with localized gusts over 50 mph are expected to whip through the isles today.

Strongest winds are expected over the western end of the state and on the windward side, as well as downwind of the island terrain and through valleys.

Officials warn of falling tree branches while walking or driving, advise the public to secure tents and awnings and to be prepared for power outages.

Heavy rains, meanwhile, have been falling over the island of Maui, prompting a flood advisory until 11:30 a.m.

At 8:25 a.m., radar and automated rain gauges indicated heavy rain over the eastern and southern portions of Maui. Rain was falling at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour.

Some locations that will experience flooding include Kahului, Kihei, Kula, Keokea, Pukalani, Makawao, Haliimaile, Keanae, Huelo, Haiku-Pauwela, Kaupo, Kipahulu, Ulupalakua, Wailea, Nahiku, Pauwela, Paia, Makena, Puunene and Maalaea.

Maui County officials this morning have closed Hana at Hanakai due to heavy flooding, along with South Kihei Road from North Kihei Road to Kulanihakoi Road.

A high surf warning also remains in place for north shores due to dangerously, large breaking waves of 20 to 25 feet, until 6 p.m. today.

Forecasters expect the front to pass over Kauai tonight, then weaken near Oahu on Wednesday, followed by a drying trend.

The following advisories are in place as of this morning:

>> Flood advisory: Island of Maui, until 11:30 a.m. May be extended if flooding persists.

>> Wind advisory for all isles, effective through midnight.

>> High wind warning for Big Isle and Haleakala summits, with winds of 50 to 75 mph, with higher gusts, through 6 p.m. Wednesday.

>> High surf warning for north-facing shores of all isles, with breaking waves of 20 to 25 feet, until 6 p.m. today.

>> Small craft advisory for Kauai northwest, windward and leeward waters and Kauai channel, effective until 6 a.m. Thursday.

>> Marine weather statement: Large north-northwest swell may produce surges at north-facing harbors and boat launches, mainly at Kahului and Hilo.

>> Gale warning for Hawaiian offshore waters beyond 40 nautical miles out to 240 nautical miles including the portion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument east of French Frigate Shoals.