Hawaii Recovers From Big Storm Amid Persistent Flood Threats | Your money
HONOLULU (AP) – A slow storm that cut power, inundated dozens of homes and caused streams and streams to jump had mainly passed through Hawaii on Tuesday, although the threat of flooding persists in some already inundated areas.
Showers were abating in Oahu, where Pearl Harbor survivors gathered under overcast skies for an 80th anniversary event. The island had received between 6 and 10 inches of rain since Monday, but isolated rain bands were still possible.
A threat of heavy rains continued for the island of Kauai.
The unusually strong winter storm hit Hawaii for several days, cutting power to 42,000 people in Maui and the Big Island, according to the Hawaiian Electric Company. Blackouts were also reported on other islands, although it is not immediately clear how many were affected.
On Tuesday, Honolulu firefighters reported responding to nearly 100 storm-related incidents within 24 hours, including 55 flooded homes. Ten people were also rescued from flash floods: five boys aged 9 and 10 were pulled from a raging creek on Monday; Another five people were later rescued from another stream and another was sent to hospital, the agency said. The department also responded to two landslides and four wind-torn roofs.
Several schools have been closed in Oahu due to inclement weather. And widespread power outages were reported across the island, including in downtown Honolulu, where utility crews were working to restore power after a substation flooded. Police directed traffic on busy side streets where traffic lights were off.
Four shelters were opened in Oahu, where normally-frequented beaches remained mostly empty Tuesday morning.
The storm system was scheduled to leave Hawaii on Wednesday, two days after Governor David Ige declared a state of emergency for all the islands.
The Big Island and Maui were mostly free from the heaviest rains on Tuesday morning.
In Maui, power outages and flooding have been reported in the previous days, with more than a foot (30 centimeters) of rain falling in some areas.
The relentless rain has forced three mainland couples to postpone their escape to Maui, said Nicole Bonanno, owner of Bella Bloom Floral, a florist and bridal boutique in Wailea.
“The roads, everything is messy,” she said. “There are a lot of trees down there.”
Big Island Mayor Mitch Roth had declared a state of emergency after heavy rains and winds hit the island on Sunday. A blizzard warning has been issued for the island’s highest peak, Mauna Kea.
Snow is not uncommon at the top of Mauna Kea, which rises to nearly 4,270 meters. However, the last time there was a blizzard warning for the summit was in 2018.
The storm, known as the “Kona Depression,” is a unique type of low pressure system that can form near Hawaii during the winter after collecting huge amounts of tropical moisture from equatorial regions.
“Kona lows tend to move slowly and therefore can maintain the concentration of heavy rain and thunderstorms over an area for an extended period of time, and they can also cause fairly strong to destructive winds,” the meteorologist said. Robert Ballard, National Weather Service scientist. and operations officer in Hawaii.
Associated Press writer Jennifer Sinco Kelleher in Honolulu contributed to this report.
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