Storms hit Hawaii, threatening “catastrophic” floods

Date: 2021-12-06 22:53:56

Strong winds and heavy rains have flooded roads across Hawaii, knocking down power lines and tree branches, and officials have warned of a potentially worsening situation on Monday.

According to the National Meteorological Service, the storm poses a “catastrophic flood” threat as the low-pressure system slowly moves from east to west and stays on the edge of the archipelago.

“It’s time to plan an emergency and prepare supplies in case you need to get away from the rising water,” Governor David Ige said in a statement.

Power outages and floods have already been reported on Maui, with more than a foot (30 centimeters) of rain in some areas. Mayor Mitch Ross of the Big Island of Hawaii has declared a state of emergency due to the potential for heavy rains on Sunday.

On Oahu, authorities have opened four shelters prior to the Sunday night storm.

According to the National Weather Service, all islands face the threat of flash floods, lightning strikes, landslides and strong winds over the next two days.

Oahu and Kauai were able to bear the brunt of the storm on Monday and Tuesday.

But for the already flooded islands of Maui and Hawaii, “it won’t take a lot of additional rain to lead to major problems,” said a meteorologist at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a science from the National Weather Service. Operational Robert Ballard said. Hawaiian officer.

The winter weather system, known as the “Kona Cyclone,” alerted emergency throughout the weekend, delivering wind, rain, and even snowstorm conditions at some of Hawaii’s highest altitudes.

A weekend snowstorm warning, the highest peak in the Big Island of Hawaii, has been issued.

It is not uncommon for snow to fall on the summit of Mauna Kea, which is about 14,000 feet (4,270 meters) high. The last snowstorm warning was issued at the summit in 2018. Residents do not live in the summit, but there are telescope stations and offices where other staff work.

According to the Meteorological Bureau, there were reports of eight inches (20 centimeters) of snow on the road below Mauna Kea, and authorities were working to reach the summit to obtain further measurements. It was a forecast of snow at the top of the mountain.

At the summit of Mauna Kea, gusts of nearly 130 mph (138 km / h) were recorded, and there were also strong winds.

Other areas Low altitude I saw it again Strong windAccording to meteorological authorities, gusts of over 50 mph (80 km) have been recorded in several parts of the state.

Conarrow is a type of cyclone that forms near Hawaii in the winter and has some unique meteorological characteristics, Ballard said.

“We often see large amounts of tropical moisture being sucked up from the equatorial region. Kona’s cyclones tend to move slowly, concentrating heavy rains and thunderstorms in one region for extended periods of time. It can also cause a fairly strong wind, “Ballard said.

Hawaii has dilapidated dams throughout the state that had problems during the previous storm. In 2006, during heavy rains, the soil walls of the Karoko Reservoir collapsed, flooding the hillside with waves of water and mud. Seven people, including pregnant women, died.

The March rainfall raised concerns that the dam might have collapsed on Maui when the floods destroyed houses and flooded roads. The same storm system caused damaging floods on Oahu and landslides on Kauai.

Ballard said other states and federal agencies are monitoring the dam, a condition that people need to be aware of.

“This is a situation where we need to keep an eye on and recognize and make sure that people understand that this is the type of situation where flash floods can occur very suddenly. “Ballard said.

Tropical Cyclone Lane heads away from the Hawaiian Islands

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