Floods and landslides as record rain hits Hawaii

Floods and landslides as record rain hits Hawaii

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Several days of heavy rain caused widespread flooding on Maui and the Big Island, Hawaii this week. 

Heavy rains started Tuesday night but the worst hit Wednesday, December 20. According to NWS, Kahului Airport recorded nearly 67 mm (2.65 inches) of rainfall in 1 hour early Wednesday. Within 24 hours, the airport received 146.8 mm (5.78 inches), breaking the old record of 81.5 mm (3.21 inches) set in 1955.

205.7 mm (8.1 inches) of rain was measured at Wailuku in the 24-hour period ending 20:00 local time Wednesday. During the same period, West Wailuaiki recorded 172.2 mm (6.78 inches), Haiku 157.7 mm (6.21 inches), Hana Airport 119.8 mm (4.72 inches), Puu Kukui 115.4 mm (4.54 inches), Waikapu Country Club 113 mm (4.45 inches) and Mahinahina 108.4 mm (4.27 inches).

The rains led to closures of the Central Maui landfill, Waiehu Golf Course, Kanaha Park and all recreational park facilities, including gymnasiums, pools, and fields. Bus service was also suspended along Dairy Road and Kamehameha Avenue due to flooding, the Hawaii News Now reports. Roadways closed included Ulaino Road and Waikoloa roads in Hana, Dairy Road at Hana Highway, and Puunene Avenue. Meanwhile, flooding made Kahekili Highway near mile marker 7 impassable.

Power was knocked out to about 3 000 customers in Wailuku and Waikapu between 10:00 and 12:00 local time, after a tree branch fell on power lines. Traffic signals were out at several intersections.

Featured image: Floods in Maui, Hawaii on December 20, 2017. Credit: AKAKU

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