BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Despite the Tropical Storm watch being canceled for Hawai'i County, Hurricane Ana is still making her presence known on Hawai'i Island.
A portion of Highway 11 (Mamalahoa) was shut down Saturday from the Honu'apo lookout near mile marker 57 to mile marker 58 after heavy rainfall overnight caused flash flooding at Ka'awa Flats in Na'alehu. Officials and local residents say the area is prone to flooding whenever there is a significant amount of rain.
According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Ana dumped 11.5 inches of rain over Hawai'i Island, kicked up consistent 15 foot surf heights on southeast-facing shores and wind gusts of up to 45 mph as she passed by late Friday evening and early Saturday morning. The highest reported rainfall measurement was taken at Keaumo, a remote area on the southeast side of Mauna Loa, while 4-8 inches fell in surrounding areas.
The National Weather Service has again extended the Hurricane Ana Flash Flood warning for the Ka'u district on Hawai'i Island til 3 p.m. Saturday. The warning includes, but isn't limited to: Wood Valley, Pahala, Punalu'u Beach and Punalu'u.
Officials urged visitors and residents to "turn around, don't drown" and urged them to avoid low-lying areas and move to higher ground as rising water crossings are often deeper than they appear and can quickly sweep away people and vehicles.
A Flash Flood watch remains in effect for the rest of Hawai'i Island and has been extended to include all islands through 6 p.m. Saturday.
A High Surf warning is also in place for the west shores of Hawai'i Island and a High Surf advisory is in place for the south shores until 6 p.m. Saturday. Officials say it peaked around 20 - 25 ft along the Puna and Ka'u coastlines during Ana's closest approach overnight. However, elevated surf up to 12 ft is possible along the Kona coast throughout the day Saturday. Forecasters expect conditions to include ocean water occasionally sweeping across portions of beaches, very strong breaking waves and strong long shore and rip currents. Storm surge of 1 - 2 ft is expected for southeastern shores, as well. A Small Craft advisory is in effect for all Hawai'i Island windward waters through 6 p.m. and officials say leeward waters can expect 35-45 mph winds, with gusts up to 65 mph and seas up to 25 ft.
A wind advisory is also posted for all Hawai'i Islanbd summits until 6 p.m. Saturday. Experts are forecasting sustained southeast winds from 30 - 45 mph, with gusts up to 65 mph. Ka'u and South Kona may get wind speeds of 15 - 25 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph throughout the day Saturday.
Hawai'i Red Cross has partnered with the County to open emergency shelters at: Waiakea High, Pahoa High & Intermediate, Ka'u High & Pahala Elementary, Konawaena High & Kealakehe High.
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park reopened parts of Crater Rim Drive along Kilauea Caldera, including Kilauea Visitor Center and Jaggar Museum.
Thurston Lava Tube, Kilauea Iki Overlook, and all of Chain of Craters Road remain closed due to flooding. Mauna Loa Road above Kipukapuaulu (Bird Park) is closed, but Kipukapuaulu is open. Namakanipaio Campground is open. Park rangers on Sunday will reopen closed areas incrementally as hurricane impact is assessed.
The Kahuku Unit remains closed this weekend, and International Archeology Day, originally scheduled for Saturday, will be rescheduled at a later date.
Volcano Art Center, Volcano House, Kilauea Military Camp, and the post office are open.
The park reports no significant damage from Hurricane Ana, but heavy rainfall, thunder, and lightning pelted the area Friday and early Saturday morning. More heavy rain is forecast through Saturday, and motorists are urged to drive with caution.
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