Storm sweeps Hawaii, brings threat of ‘catastrophic’ floods
HONOLULU (AP) — A strong storm packing high winds and extremely heavy rain flooded roads and downed power lines and tree branches across Hawaii, with officials warning Monday of potentially worse conditions ahead.
The National Weather Service said the storm brings the threat of “catastrophic flooding” in the coming days as a low pressure system slowly moves from east to west and lingers on the edge of the archipelago.
“Now is the time to make sure you have an emergency plan in place and supplies ready should you need to move away from rising water,” Gov. David Ige said in a statement.
On Maui, power outages and flooding already have been reported, with more than a foot (30 centimeters) of rain in some areas. Big Island Mayor Mitch Roth declared a state of emergency Sunday for potentially heavy rainfall.
On Oahu, officials opened four shelters ahead of the storm Sunday night.
All islands still face the threat of flash flooding, lightning strikes, landslides and strong winds over the next two days, according to the National Weather Service.
Oahu and Kauai could see the brunt of the storm Monday and Tuesday. But for Maui and the Big Island, which have already been soaked, “it’s not going to take a lot of additional rain to really lead to big problems,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meteorologist Robert Ballard said.
The winter weather system known as a “Kona low” prompted emergency alerts throughout the weekend while delivering wind, rain and even blizzard conditions at some of Hawaii's highest elevations.
A weekend blizzard warning was issued for the state's highest peak, on the Big Island.
Snow is not rare at the summit of Mauna Kea, which is nearly 14,000 feet (4,270 meters) high. The last time there was a blizzard warning for the summit was in...