HONOLULU (KHON2) — Businesses in Haleiwa Town say they started evacuating around 4:30 p.m. after the City and County of Honolulu issued an evacuation warning for the area.
Some food truck businesses near the Opaeula Stream in Haleiwa Town were some of the first to see the flooding.
Jenny’s Shrimp Truck worker Quinn Cao said they received a call inquiring about if they were seeing the stream rising. She said she didn’t see it at first, but as the minutes went on, the stream waters grew.
“(I said) the water level is going up but it’s not at the dangerous line yet,” said Cao. “After I hung up, I took a look again. I found that half of the parking lot was already getting – it (was) all filled up with the river.”
They still had some customers at the time, but Cao and her mother, the owner of the truck, started to ask people to return home. By the time they cleared customers out, Cao found that the entire parking lot had flooded.
“I saw the whole parking lot is being covered,” said Cao. “Then the water level is like gaining super fast, came in super, really fast. My mom was telling me, it’s better we clean up our stuff right now and then to leave.”
On the other side of Haleiwa Town at Haleiwa Joe’s, they also noticed a change in the Anahulu river near them.
“The river has already gone from looking normal this morning to (a legitimate) torrential rain, flooding river,” said Haleiwa Joe’s Manager Joshua Lomont.
Lomont said they weren’t expecting the evacuation order from officials, as they had only seen light showers throughout the day, but heavy rains started picking up in the late afternoon.
“Down the road here, police have driven by giving people warnings to evacuate.”Joshua Lomont, Haleiwa Joe’s Manager
Lomont said they had quite a bit of customers at the restaurant, and let them know about what was happening. Many people opted to take their meals to go and head home. At about 5 p.m., he said the last group of customers were leaving.
“Right now, the plan is to wrap everything up, we’re going to close up the restaurant, get everyone home safely,” said Lomont. “We want people to just be able to make it home safe, without getting stuck somewhere.”
North shore businesses say they will be checking the damage on Wednesday.