UPDATE – (10:53 a.m.) – The National Weather Service in Honolulu extended the Flash Flood Warning for East Hawaiʻi until 1:30 a.m. HST. Forecasters wrote:
At 10:16 PM HST, radar and rain gages indicated heavy rainfall over the windward and southeast facing slopes of the Big Island. The most intense area of rainfall was over the slopes from Hilo to South Point with rates of more than 2 inches per hour. This rainfall will cause the water levels in already swollen streams to rise further. Heavy rain along the Hamakua Coast will also cause flooding problems along Belt Highway between Honomu and Honokaa.
UPDATE – (10 p.m.) – Police say one lane is closed on Highway 19 in Laupahoehoe Gulch near the 25-26 mile mark due to a landslide. “There is no alternate route”, police say. “Please drive with caution.”
UPDATE – (9:30 p.m.) – Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense issued an updated message, saying:
- Highway 11 in the Kaʻū District closed between mile marker 57 and mile marker 60.
- The Daniel K. Inouye Highway (also known as Saddle Road) is closed between mile marker 11 and mile marker 18 on the Hilo side of the saddle.
- Bay Front Highway in Hilo [is closed].
- Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo [is closed].
“Conditions are not predictable at this time so please stay at home tonight.,” Civil Defense stated.
UPDATE – (9 p.m.) – Saddle Road is now closed due to flooding. From the Hawaiʻi County Police Department:
Hawaii Island Police are closing Daniel K. Inouye (DKI) Hwy by the 11-mile marker due to flooding and debris on the roadway.
Police are asking that the public avoid the area, as emergency crews make assessments and begin clean-up in the area.
There are no alternate routes. If there is no need to be on the roadway please stay home, stay informed and stay safe.
(BIVN) – The National Weather Service in Honolulu issued a Flash Flood Warning at 7:35 p.m. on Saturday night, as heavy rain continues to soak East Hawaiʻi.
The warning covers all of East Hawaiʻi, and includes Hilo, Naʻalehu, Waipiʻo Valley, Orchidland Estates, Hawi, Pepeʻekeo, Keaʻau, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Kawa Flats, Pāhoa, Kapaʻau and Hawaiian Acres.
The warning message stated:
At 7:28 p.m. HST, radar indicated heavy rainfall over the windward slopes of the Big Island. The most intense area of rainfall was over the slopes above Hilo with rates of more than 2 inches per hour. This rainfall will cause the water level in an already swollen Wailuku River to rise further. Heavy rain along the Hamakua Coast will also cause flooding problems along Belt Highway between Honomu and Honokaa.
Due to the Flash Flood Warning, Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense issued the following advisories:
- All residents in flood-prone areas are asked to remain on the alert for flash flooding. If you chose to evacuate, you should do so before flooding occurs. A shelter is open at the Butler buildings behind Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo.
- Roadways may close at any time; be on the alert for run-off, ponding of water, and debris.
- Do not cross moving water in a vehicle or on foot; turn around, don’t drown.
- If lightning threatens your area, the safest place to be is indoors.
The Flash Flood Watch for the entire island remains in effect.
The High Surf Warning for east-facing shores has been cancelled. A High Surf Advisory is now in effect. Surf is expected to be 8 to 12 feet through Wednesday.
The Winter Weather Advisory for Hawaiʻi Island summits has become a Winter Storm Warning. Heavy snow and patchy ice is covering Maunakea and Mauna Loa. Additional snow accumulations of up to 8 inches are possible, mainly above 12,000 feet, forecasters say. The road to the summit of Maunakea is closed, and the campground at Mauna Loa is closed.