UPDATE – (4 p.m.) – The Flash Flood Warning is no longer in effect. The Flood Watch is still in place, as well as the Winter Weather Advisory for the summits of Maunakea and Mauna Loa.
(BIVN) – The Flash Flood Warning for a large area of East Hawaiʻi remains in effect, and has been extended until 1:15 p.m. HST on Thursday.
“At 10:01 a.m. HST, radar and rain gauges indicated that heavy rainfall continues over the southeast half of the Big Island,” the National Weather Service reported. “Rain rates have eased to 1 to 2 inches per hour in the lower Puna District. However, runoff levels remain high. Wood Valley Road near Pahala remains closed. Pohaku Drive in Orchidland Estates also remains closed.”
Waipiʻo Valley Access Road will remain closed to the general public as a precautionary safety measure, county officials say.
Areas of Hilo, Hāmākua, and Kaʻū have seen rainfall of between 2-to-3 inches with areas of Puna seeing nearly 5 inches.
Officials say the Hawaiʻi County Emergency Operation Center will remain in partial activation throughout the day. “As a result of the Flood Warning, the County and its partners have identified six potential shelter sites island-wide that are prepared to be stood up should the need arise,” the County says.
The Department of Parks and Recreation has also announced the closure of the William Billy Kenoi Park in Pāhoa and the Panaʻewa Covered Playcourt in Hilo “as a result of flooding or excessive moisture,” officials say, adding that “the Department will alert residents when the facilities are reopened.”
There are also closures for the Hele-On bus service due to hazardous road conditions. “The Mass Transit Agency is asking residents to keep up with changes to routes and services via their X at @heleonbus,” officials wrote.
County officials continue to encourages residents to take the following measures:
- Stay Informed: Monitor official weather updates from the National Weather Service and local authorities.
- Emergency Kit: Prepare an emergency kit with essential supplies, including food, water, medications, flashlights, batteries, and important documents.
- Communication Plan: Establish a communication plan with family members and loved ones in case of evacuation or separation.
- Secure Property: Secure outdoor furniture and loose objects, and ensure that gutters are clear to prevent flooding.
- Evacuation Plans: Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes and shelters in your area.
The County says shower coverage “is expected to gradually diminish over the weekend, although the potential for some locally heavy showers may persist as the Kona Low lingers.”