Oahu and Maui residents pummeled by rain

A flash flood warning is in effect for Oahu tonight, and there's still more heavy rain and thunderstorms to come.

In Windward Oahu, Kamehemeha Highway is closed at Waikane Stream. Earlier the fire department was called to help stranded motorists, but there's also been many calls for flooded homes and businesses.

It was also a close call for a Kaneohe resident when lightning struck his condo while he was inside. He was not hurt, but his home was damaged.

Off Maui, a waterspout formed off Kihei today, and in Wailuku, Kahekili Highway is closed near Waihee School.

Flash floods have hit several areas in Central Maui. County officials are urging motorists to drive with caution. Areas to avoid include Iao Valley Road, River Road, Lower Waiehu Beach Road, and Kahekili Highway.

Back to Windward Oahu, flood waters have swept mud and debris through much of the Kahaluu and Waikane area. Residents and businesses tell us they're preparing for a long week of cleaning up the mess.

Even businesses like Sunshine Arts were forced to shut down.

"My whole focus is save the art, get everything up, and water is coming in. I can't stop it," said owner of Sunshine Arts Jim Franklin. "I learned earlier that if I built a flood wall most of the water will stay out, the flood wall always helps us but sometimes the flood is so big that it goes over the wall."

Nearby streams overflowed and knocked over several fence panels, which were later found by neighbors a few yards away.

State crews were busy dredging up all the collected debris in Kahaluu Stream to clear the drainage.

That's when another round of rain and flood waters pounded the Windward side in the afternoon.

Gushing water so strong - some of it broke through asphalt on multiple roads along Kamehameha Highway.

Water levels rose up once again causing vehicles to stall. Heavy flooding became dangerous, so officials had to close certain sections of Kamehameha Highway off and turn drivers away.

"We are afraid to go back the other way because it was bad enough that we were wondering if we would make it through in the first place," said Michael Henrie of California. "We decided the best course of action might be to stay in a place where there not water running."

As the rain continues, you can expect lane closures and delays. But if you can - avoid Kamehameha Highway on the Windward side.

The lightning that struck a condo in Kaneohe late Saturday night caused significant damage, leaving a gaping hole in the roof .

KHON2 spoke with the man who was home at the time.

Luckily he wasn't hurt, but we're told the lightning strike was so strong some residents said it shook their walls and it was heard throughout the entire complex.

A tarp draped across the stairs and drywall scattered on the floor, it almost looks like resident Ben Cole is remodeling.

"This is actually the very last thing that i ever thought I'd be doing today," Cole said.

Cole was getting ready for bed a little after 11:00 p.m. Saturday when he heard a deafening sound and saw a huge flash of light.

"I mean it was just an explosion, literally. It was completely disorienting you know, it felt, I could feel the energy come through the house," Cole said. "My ears were ringing literally probably for about an hour afterwards. It felt like somebody literally set off a bomb inside my house."

That bomb was actually a bolt of lightning that went through the roof of his unit.

A giant hole was left behind after the drywall dust settled.

"I felt the whole thing, you felt the pressure, the electricity. All my hairs were standing up everywhere, it was pretty wild," Cole said.

Cole said his apartment also smelled like smoke.

Luckily the lightning strike didn't spark a fire. but rain started gushing in.

"I called the resident manager because it was like 'oh my goodness I've got literally a river flowing down my stairs at the moment,'" Cole said.

Firefighters came and placed a tarp over the damage.

This is what the roof looked like from the outside on Sunday morning.

Cole told KHON2 he's still shocked by how close he was to danger but he's just glad it wasn't worse.

"I wish Hawaii had a lottery because I would've gone and bought a lottery ticket last night!" Cole joked.

There's no word on the cost of the damage but Cole said he does have insurance.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a Flash Flood Warning for portions of Hawaii Island until 2:45 a.m.

At 11:05 p.m., radar indicated pockets of heavy rain just north Milolii, and along the Hamakua coast between Ookala and Waipio Valley, and east of Hawi. Rain was falling at a rate up to 2 inches per hour.

Locations in the advisory include but are not limited to Kailua-Kona, Honaunau, Puuanahulu, Kawaihae, Kamauela, Waipio Valley, Hawi, Pepeekeo, Pahala and Volcano.


A flash flood warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring in streams, roads, and low lying areas. Move to higher ground now.

Do not cross fast flowing water in your vehicle, or on foot. Turn around, don't drown.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has expanded the Flash Flood Watch to include all Hawaiian Islands from through Monday afternoon.

Abundant low level moisture over the eastern half of the state will spread to the entire island chain tonight and Sunday. A strong upper level trough approaching the state will produce unstable conditions that will generate heavy showers and thunderstorms.

Due to increasing instability, heavy showers and thunderstorms could develop rapidly. Heavy rainfall could affect urban and leeward areas, which are more susceptible to flooding problems.


A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a dangerous situation.

Please monitor forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

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