(BIVN) – Lane may have weakened to a tropical storm, but the Big Island continues to feel the impact of the system this evening, as torrential downpours continue across East Hawai‘i.
A Flash Flood Warning remains in effect for East Hawai‘i. According to the National Weather Service:
At 740 PM HST…Big Island Civil Defense reported that Route 130 from Keaau High School to Hawaiian Paradise Park is closed due to flooding. Extreme runoff is also impacting roadways in the Pahala area. Additional flooding will likely result in more road closures, especially in the Puna and Kau Districts. THIS IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. AVOID UNNECESSARY TRAVEL DUE TO ONGOING FLOOD IMPACTS.
UPDATE (8:30 p.m.) The Red Cross has opened a shelter at Kea’au High School for the residents of Puna, county officials say. “This shelter is for your convenience, but there is NO mandatory evacuation at this time,” a civil defense message stated. “If you choose to relocate to a shelter, please bring personal food and bedding. The shelter is open to everyone with or without these items. Please use extreme caution if you decide to evacuate to a shelter.”
Hawaii County Civil Defense issued this message at 8 p.m. HST:
Although Tropical Storm Lane has weakened, a flash flood warning is still in effect for the windward side of Hawaii Island, with dangerous heavy rains and flooding continuing. Roads in Kohala, Hamakua, Hilo, Puna, and Kau are experiencing severe flooding. Everyone is strongly advised to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.
*All low lying areas of Hilo town are flooded. It is critical that motorists and persons stay out of the area.*
Due to Tropical Storm Lane, the following major road closures are in effect:
Highway 19 between mile marker 3 and 32 – expect extremely hazardous driving conditions. Only one lane will be maintained and the road may be closed at times without any notice.
Saddle Road at mile marker 10.5 – alternating one lane open with pilot car
Highway 11 at mile marker 15
Highway 130 from Keaau High School to Hawaiian Paradise Park
Please stay alert and be cautious of changing road conditions, as closures may occur at any time without notice. Conditions are being monitored and you will be kept informed of major closures as best as possible.
Due to flash flooding, extreme caution should be taken due to:
– Flowing water on and across the road
– Poor visibility due to heavy rain
– Debris on the road
– Erosion of the shoulders and the road
– Ponding water
The shelter at Waiakea High School is open if you need to evacuate. Remember to bring food and bedding if possible.
All motorists and residents of effected areas are urged to use extreme caution and be aware of flooding conditions.
This is a very dangerous situation and heavy rains are expected to continue on the windward side of Hawaii Island.