Flooding in Waiahole, Waikane challenges Kamehameha Highway motorists

Jonathan Keamohuli
Jonathan Keamohuli

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

WINDWARD OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Parts of Oahu were under a flood advisory for a good portion of Wednesday. Heavy showers hit the Windward side in particular, creating a challenge for motorists on Kamehameha Highway between Waiahole and Waikane.

Officials urged the public to stay away from streams and low-lying areas.

"This is deep," David Henao, driver, said.

Henao captures the action on his cell phone, as the roadway quickly becomes a waterway.

"Traffic comes to a stop, a standstill, and then you see a rush of water coming from the slopes," he said.

A motorcyclist is no match for the flooding. He's forced to abandon his bike, while a city bus and other vehicles slowly make their way through.

"Several people had to turn around, otherwise the engine would have gotten water," Henao said.

Showers drenched Windward Oahu, leaving Waikane Stream swollen. Kamehameha Highway was no longer recognizable under all that water and debris.

The water was easily bumper-high in some spots, creating quite a show. Jonathan Keamohuli had no choice but to pull his low-rider truck to the shoulder.

"Water's pretty high," Keamohuli said. "I don't know if I can make it through, so probably just going to sit down and wait for a little bit."

Area residents say flash flooding is something they're used to.

"Every winter it happens like this," a passing motorist said.

After a short pit stop -- and a check of the sky -- Keamohuli decides it's safe to resume the drive.

"Yeah, I'm ready," he said. "So let's try and figure it out."

Just another wet day on the Windward side.

"Mother Nature, can't stop it," Keamohuli said.

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