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State of emergency declared in Hawaii over potentially catastrophic flooding

A Hawaii Army National Guard Search and Rescue Team member assesses the damage done to the road by the heavy rains and flooding on the the island of Kauai, in Wainiha Valley, April 17, 2018. Source - Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson/State of Hawaii, Department of Defense, Public Affairs Office, Public Domain
A Hawaii Army National Guard Search and Rescue Team member assesses the damage done to the road by the heavy rains and flooding on the the island of Kauai, in Wainiha Valley, April 17, 2018. Source - Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson/State of Hawaii, Department of Defense, Public Affairs Office, Public Domain

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.

The National Weather Service said, “a kona low – a drastic winter storm on the islands – will linger west-northwest of Kauai Monday morning, making its way westward through Wednesday and bringing heavy rain.”

“Expect widespread heavy rainfall with this system, especially under the large heavy rain band, capable of producing catastrophic flooding, and strong gusty southerly winds through Wednesday,” the agency said.

Over two feet of rain is possible in some areas; widespread amounts of 10 to 15 inches are likely.

Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth declared a state of emergency for his island, warning residents about the threat of significant flooding, high winds, and thunderstorms, Hawaii News Now said.

Ahead of the storm’s worst impacts, Gov. David Ige on Sunday urged residents to prepare for the potential of major flooding, landslides, road closures, and damage to homes.

Maui County public schools canceled classes Monday, while Kamehameha Schools, a private school system in Hawaii, said it would be closing its Hawaii Island and Maui campuses, preschools, and offices. 

In a Twitter thread on Sunday, Hawaii Governor David Ige said preparations were underway for emergency officials to respond to any impacts from the kona low weather system.

“This storm has the potential to cause major flooding, landslides, road closures, and damage to homes,” Ige warned. “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.” 

Written By

Karen Graham is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for environmental news. Karen's view of what is happening in our world is colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in man's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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