UPDATE (Nov. 20) – The Flash Flood Warning is no longer in effect.
UPDATE (11 p.m.) – The National Weather Service has extended the Flash Flood Warning for east Ka’ū until 2 a.m. HST.
Highway 11 was still closed at Kawa Flats as of 10:43 p.m. with two feet of water across the roadway. The heavy rainfall has diminished but runoff will continue for the next hour or so, forecasters said
(BIVN) – The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a Flash Flood Warning for an area of Kaʻū on the island of Hawaii until 11 p.m. HST.
“At 7:56 p.m. HST, radar indicated an area of nearly stationary heavy rainfall near Naʻalehu and Kawa Flats,” forecasters wrote. “Big Island emergency management reports the closure of Highway 11 at Kawa Flats as of 7:45 p.m. HST. Rain was falling at a rate of 2 to 3 inches per hour. Flash flooding is occurring or expected to begin shortly.”
Hawaiʻi Police confirm Highway 11 between the 58 and 62 mile markers is closed due to flooding. There are no alternate routes.
Highway 190 in North Kona at the 20 Mile Marker is also closed until further notice due to a traffic collision, officials say. Police are rerouting traffic through Waikoloa Road and Kaiminani Drive.
Using the new Impact-Based (IBW) Flash Flood Warning format, the National Weather Service stated:
HAZARD … Flash flooding caused by heavy rain.
SOURCE … Radar indicated.
IMPACT … Flooding in drainages, streams, rivers, roads, properties, and other low-lying areas. Public road closures possible in some areas. Landslides are possible in steep terrain.
Some locations that will experience flooding include Naʻalehu, Pahala, Wood Valley, Kawa Flats, Punaluʻu Beach, Discovery Harbour and Waiohinu, forecasters said.
The entire island of Hawaiʻi is currently under a Flash Flood Watch.
We will update this story with more information as it becomes available.