Oahu rings in 2022 with heavy downpours, flooding on New Year’s Day

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Heavy rains soaked Oahu on the first day of the new year with flash flood warnings and advisories being triggered throughout the day.

Heavy rains overnight on the North Shore left Waimea Bay and other beach parks brown on Saturday, Jan. 1.

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The heavy rain also soaked portions of town, causing the Honolulu Zoo to close. The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) shut down Pali Highway in the town-bound direction on Saturday afternoon after rocks and debris fell onto the road.

Kailua residents have been dealing with the most impacts from the New Year’s Day rainstorm.

“I’ve been here all my life since I was five and I’ve never seen the water come up this high,” said Laurie Adams, a Kailua resident that lives right on Enchanted Lake whose yard was filled with lake water Saturday afternoon. “It’s kind of crazy; it’s scary.”

For the past few days, rain falling off and on caused the lake to swell.

“By 11 or noon today, I could see it come over my fence here and then into the yard and really fast,” Adams explained. “It didn’t seem like it was raining that hard consistently but it came up and up and it was getting close to my bedroom.”

She is thankful she has enough yard space in front of her home but worries that if the rain continues overnight or on Sunday, Jan. 2, it could flood.

“I don’t want to be flooded, I don’t want to start 2022 that way,” she continued.

City crews helped trench the stream mouth down at Kailua Beach Park while the Honolulu Fire Department pumped out water from homes across the street. Many residents who live across the beach park said they have never seen the water so high before and some homes were flooded.

Once more water was able to flow into the ocean, the water in Adams’ yard started to recede.

Despite the stressful start, she and many others are hopeful 2022 will get better.

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“We can all use a better 2022 and 22 is my lucky number, so I’m looking forward to it,” Adams said.

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