A powerful storm system pounded Hawaii on Monday with heavy rain, and forecasters warned of a chance for “dangerous” and “catastrophic” flooding in some parts of the state throughout Monday night and well into Tuesday. 

More than 2 feet of rain is possible in some areas; widespread amounts of 10 to 15 inches are likely. 

The National Weather Service of Honolulu stated that this system could produce widespread rainfall and severe flooding.

AccuWeather announced that all the islands have received flood watches and they will be in place until Tuesday. According to the National Weather Service, flash flooding is most likely in Oahu or Kauai.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige Declared an emergency for the entire state Monday afternoon and urged residents to prepare for major flooding, landslides, road closures and damage to homes.

“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,” the governor said in a news release.

The emergency state will be in effect until Dec. 10.

According to the National Weather Service, heavy rain can cause flooding in places that aren’t typically prone to flood. Numerous landslides could also be possible.

Due to heavy runoff, low spots on roads can become unsafe and unpassable. Debris in streams and gulches may clog bridges and culverts resulting in dangerous flooding,” the Weather Service said.

Four shelters were opened on Oahu. Most beaches of Waikiki were closed Monday. Only a handful of people used umbrellas to protect themselves from the rains. The flooding of roads in the region caused cars to smuggle through downtown, as water ran out from manhole covers. 

Already, there have been reports of flooding and power outages on Maui. In some places, more than one foot (30 cm) of rainfall fell.

Nicole Bonanno, the owner of Bella Bloom Floral in Wailea, stated that three married couples on the U.S. continent were made to cancel their Maui elopements because of relentless rain.

CNN reports that Monday was a day of rest for public schools in Hawaii’s Maui County. 

As a precaution, the city and county of Honolulu planned to open four emergency shelters ahead of the Kona low storm, which is expected to hit Oahu starting tonight, Honolulu mayor Rick BlangiardiTwittered Monday morning 

According to the weather service, Kona low storms can be a seasonal cyclone that forms in the Hawaiian Islands. They are usually created in winter by winds blowing from the west, “Kona”, direction. Kona lows can often cause wet, unsettled weather. 

Hawaii blizzard:Hawaii has a blizzard warning, with up to 100 mph winds and 12 inches of snow expected

Although Monday’s blizzard warning was cancelled for Hawaii’s Big Island summits, the snow continued to fall there. The Weather Service stated that an additional 4 inches of snow is possible. 

“Although Hawaii has the reputation of year-round warmth, snow actually makes a yearly appearance atop some of its highest peaks,” AccuWeather meteorologist Lauren Hyde said.

Blizzard warnings for Hawaii are rare but not unheard of. The last blizzard warning issued by the Weather Service in Hawaii was more than 3½ years ago.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Source: USAToday.com


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