(BIVN) – Shelters have been opened, parks and roads have been closed, and bus routes have been cancelled, as a strong kona low continues to impact Hawaiʻi island.
Hawaiʻi County officials announced on Monday evening that two shelters have been opened: one at the Old Airport Gymnasium parking lot in Kona, and the other at the Waimea Community Center in North Hawaiʻi. Shelters will remain open until further notice.
“Additionally, all Hele-On routes are canceled for the day due to the current weather conditions and safety concerns regarding the public and Hele-On staff,” the County said. “County officials will update the public when regular service resumes.”
In recent alert messages, the police said:
- AVOID Kohala Mountain Road due to debris in the roadway. “Police are posted at the Waiaka Bridge intersection to detour Kohala-bound traffic,” an alert stated. “Please use other routes to go to Kohala. Police estimate the partial closure to last at least 4 hours and will update motorists when more information becomes available.”
- AVOID Mamalahoa Highway (70 mile marker) from the Kahuku unit of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park (Kaʻū) to South Point Rd. due to a fallen tree and downed power lines. The road is expected to be closed for several hours, police reported.
- Mamalahoa Highway (Route 190) near the 5 mile marker is partially obstructed with water running across the road. First Responders are on scene directing traffic.
In addition, the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense reported current road closures include:
- Highway 19 at mile marker 35 near Paʻauilo.
- Palani Road vicinity 36 mile marker.
- Waikoloa Road vicinity Paniolo intersection.
- Kawaihae Road vicinity of Akulani.
- Alii Drive vicinity Laʻaloa Beach Park.
A High Wind Warning and Flood Watch remains in effect for the entire island of Hawaiʻi.
A Flash Flood Warning has also been in place for West Hawaiʻi during much of the evening. Water levels remain elevated in the Waiaha stream, officials noted.
“The National Weather Service forecasts possible downslope high winds for the areas of Hilo, Puna and Kau following the rains,” a Civil Defense message stated. “Take necessary precautions before these winds begin, secure outdoor items.”