Flash flood warning issued for Kauai

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    By Star-Advertiser staff

    POSTED: 09:21 a.m. HST, Jan 17, 2012
    LAST UPDATED: 11:01 a.m. HST, Jan 17, 2012

    The rains on Kauai that prompted the closure of Hanalei School this morning could reach Honolulu and the Leeward Coast by this afternoon, but it shouldn’t be as heavy as the rains this morning on the Garden Island, National Weather Service Forecasters say.

    A flash flood warning is in effect for Kauai until 1:30 p.m. today. Forecasters say radar shows a band of heavy showers moving over the island from the southwest. Water in the Hanalei River is also rising fast and is expected to reach 7.5 feet, which indicates flooding.

    Locations in the warning include, Haena, Wainiha, Na Pali State Park, Moloaa, Kalaalu Valley, Princeville, Kilauea, Kapaa, Halanei and Anahola.

    The heavy rain and thunderstorms are associated with a weather system northwest of Kauai that should weaken by this evening. The system is also responsible for the southerly winds that are bringing the vog and humidity to Oahu.

    William Arakaki, superintendent of the Kauai DOE complex, said the 226 students at Hanalei Elementary School were released at 9 a.m. because of concern that the Hanalei River might flood.

    Also released this morning were students who attend Kapaa Middle and Kapaa High Schools who live across Hanalei River in Hanalei and Haena.

    “The Hanalei Bridge is still open right now,” Arakaki said just before 9 a.m., “but the river can rise very quickly.”

    Hanalei Elementary School is expected to reopen for classes on Wednesday, Arakaki said.

    As of 8 a.m. this morning, 5.4 inches of rain fell on Mt. Waialeale over a 24-hour period.

    Overnight, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative reported several weather related power outages caused by trees downing power lines.

    At 9:30 this morning a few customers in Hanamaulu and Kokee were reported without electricity because of the heavy winds.

    Forecasters predict isolated thunderstorms with locally strong wind gusts over 40 miles per hour as a fast-moving storm moves through Kauai.

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