(BIVN) – A Flash Flood Warning remains in effect for East Hawai‘i, as Hurricane Lane churns 190 miles southwest of Kailua-Kona.
At 4:02 p.m. HST, the national weather Service in Honolulu stated:
At 351 PM HST…radar and rain gages showed intense rainfall continuing over the windward slopes of the Big Island. Rain rates of 3 to 4 inches per hour were recorded in upper Hilo and Papaikou. Already swollen streams and drainages will rise significantly. Bands of heavy rain will continue to move over Hilo into tonight. THIS IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. AVOID UNNECESSARY TRAVEL.
Due to the flooding conditions in Hilo, the American Red Cross has opened a shelter at Waiakea High School. “Five other shelters remain open on the north and west side of the island,” Hawai‘i County Civil Defense said at 4 p.m. “These shelters are for your convenience, but there is NO mandatory evacuation at this time. If you choose to relocate to a shelter, food is not provided (don’t forget pet food!). Please bring your blankets and pillows if possible. However, the shelter is open to everyone with or without these items.”
The shelters are available if you need to relocate:
- Waiakea High School
- Hookena Elementary School
- Kamehameha Park Hisaoka Gym *Pet Friendly
- Kealakehe High School *Pet Friendly
- Waikoloa Elementary & Middle School
- Konawaena High School Gym
Meanwhile, the Hawai‘i State Department of Health is advising the public to stay out of streams, coastal, and standing waters that are contaminated by storm water. “Storm water may contain harmful micro-organisms from overflowing cesspools or septic tanks as well as animal waste washed into streams and storm drains,” officials say.
In particular, health officials today warned the public stay out of Kaohaoha Gulch and the coastal waters fronting the gulch in O‘okala, Hawai‘i.” Water within Kaohaoha Gulch was contaminated with animal waste due to an overflowing retention pond at the Dairy facility,” health officials said. “The overflows are caused by rainfall from Hurricane Lane.”
Signs will be posted when weather conditions are safe, the health department said. “The public is advised to remain out of these waters until this advisory has been taken down,” officials said. “As a reminder, the entire island is under a Brown Water Advisory due to the hurricane.”