HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi held a news conference on Monday, Dec. 6, with local emergency officials to discuss preparations ahead of severe weather for Oahu.
Officials say there’s still potential for “catastrophic rainfall” for Oahu, and an additional 10 to 15 inches of rain is possible.
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The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a flash flood warning for Oahu until 4:15 p.m. Monday. In its last update, radar showed heavy rainfall, with rates of 3 to 4 inches per hour, approaching the island from the southwest. Rain from this band will spread across the island over the next several hours.
“We really ask the public to stay vigilant, pay attention to your surroundings, and really don’t take any chances at this time. If there’s any nonessential activities that you can curtail at this point, please do so and go somewhere safe,” said Hiro Toiya, Department of Emergency Management Director.
Toiya says the flood threat will continue Monday night through Tuesday morning.
The City opened four emergency shelters Sunday night in anticipation for potential impacts:
- Kalakaua District Park
- Makaha Community Park
- Sunset Beach Recreation Center
- Kailua District Park
If there’s a need, additional shelters will be opened.
Acting Deputy Fire Chief Sheldon Hao reported that fire crews responded to 47 weather-related incidents since 8 p.m. Sunday, mostly due to wind-driven events, such as blown roofs, downed trees, arcing wires and roadway obstructions. Hao said the concern now is rain-related events.
James Ireland, Department of Emergency Services Director, reported that his department has also been busy. He said the incidents are not particularly storm-related, although there have been more slip-and-falls due to the wet pavements.
There were also a high number of calls that Ocean Safety responded to on Sunday due to high surf. Ireland said there was less beach use on Monday, but he did report a rescue for a hiker. He advises people to use common sense and stay away from trails during the storm.
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According to the NWS, the threat of flash flooding, lightning strikes, landslides and strong winds will continue statewide over the next two days.