Totals show Darby dumped nearly a foot of rain on Oahu - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

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Totals show Darby dumped nearly a foot of rain on Oahu

Cars remained on the muddy H-1 after the floodwaters subside (Image: Kama'aina Towing) Cars remained on the muddy H-1 after the floodwaters subside (Image: Kama'aina Towing)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Thunderstorms in Tropical Storm Darby's moisture-laden eastern half dumped nearly a foot of rain on Oahu, according to rainfall totals from the National Weather Service office in Honolulu.

Meteorologists say O'ahu can withstand a large amount of rain, if it's falling over an extended period -- but with rainfall rates of three to five inches an hour that came down Sunday evening as Tropical Storm Darby passed over, residents experienced first-hand the real problems it can cause.

"We dodged a bullet a little bit and I know a lot of people probably don't feel that way if they had flooding, but it could have been a lot worse if Darby had been a little more organized or moving a little slower. We could've really ended up with a lot more rain -- maybe double what we had," said Robert Ballard, the Science & Operations Officer at the National Weather Service of Honolulu.

According to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, the heaviest showers in town were east of Aloha Tower where there are no rain gauges and based on radar estimates, officials believe Honolulu was drenched with 7 to 9 inches of rain in the span of just six hours.

"We had sort of a double-whammy last night -- not only did we have intense rain that was falling over some of the most populated area of the state, right here in town, but we also had intense rain falling over the Ko'olau. Sometimes the intense rainfall remains over the Ko'olau, and you're still going to get run-off. But in this case, the run-off from the Ko'olau had nowhere to go and so it really caused major flash-flooding and problems right in town," explained Ballard.

The H-1 freeway was shut down for several hours Sunday night into Monday morning due to a combination of ponding on the streets and waterfalls cascading over bridges.

"I'm not an expert in road engineering or landscaping, but I can tell you that it's really hard to design something that's going to be able to handle that much rain in that short of time," said Ballard. 

Kauai and Molokai also picked up some rain, but in much smaller totals.

Here's a list of preliminary totals between 3 a.m. Sunday and 3 a.m. Monday from automated rain gauges on the three islands. The totals were collected from a variety of sources with varying equipment, and not all the data listed are considered official.

KAUAI

  • Kilohana RG                           3.36”
  • Mount Waialeale                     2.98”
  • PH Wainiha                             1.48”
  • Kapahi                                     1.14”
  • Wailua Ditch                           1.14”
  • Wailua                                     0.78”
  • Kokee                                      0.76”
  • Lihue Airport                          0.74”
  • Waiakoali                                0.72”
  • Hanalei                                    0.70”
  • Mohihi Crossing                     0.67”
  • Waialae RG                             0.67”
  • Princeville Airport                  0.58”

OAHU

  • Nuuanu Upper                          11.30”
  • Moanalua                                  11.22”
  • Luluku                                       10.89”
  • Waihee Pump                           10.75”
  • Tunnel RG                                10.19”
  • Hakipuu Mauka                         9.87”
  • Moanalua Stream                      9.58”
  • Ahuimanu Loop                         9.50”
  • Waiahole Stream                       9.41”
  • Manoa Lyon Arboretum             8.88”
  • Kahana Stream                         8.22”
  • Punaluu Stream                        7.78”
  • St. Stephens Seminary            6.66”
  • Aloha Tower                             6.20”
  • Maunawili                                 6.19”
  • Poamoho RG 1                        6.10”
  • Punaluu Pump                         5.92”
  • Palisades Res                         4.21”
  • Palolo Fire Station                  4.13”
  • Waiawa CF                             3.86”
  • Olomana Fire Stn                    3.09”
  • Waimanalo Nonokio               2.96”
  • Schofield Barracks                  2.94”
  • Niu Valley                               2.73”
  • Poamoho Exp Farm                2.49”
  • Wheeler AAF                          2.05”
  • Makaha Stream                       1.83”
  • Bellows AFS                           1.75”
  • Pupukea Road RG                  1.73”
  • Kawailoa Training Area          1.72”
  • Mililani                                   1.70”
  • Honolulu Airport                    1.67”
  • Hawaii Kai Golf Course         1.53”
  • Waipio Heights                       1.46”
  • Kahuku Training Area            1.43”
  • Palehua                                    1.39”
  • Kahuku                                   1.28”
  • Kii                                           1.25”
  • Makua Range                          1.05”
  • Wahiawa PHB                          1.19”
  • Kunia Substation                    1.19”
  • Waianae Valley                       1.10”
  • Ewa Beach – PTWC               0.71”
  • Dillingham Airfield                 0.70”
  • Lualualei                                  0.82”
  • Waianae Boat Harbor              0.67”
  • Honouliuli PHB                      0.57”
  • Waianae Kawiwi                     0.56”
  • Kalaeloa Airport                      0.54”

MOLOKAI

  • Puu Alii                                   1.32”
  • Molokai Airport                     0.83” 

The peak of hurricane season is still coming up -- August and September -- and officials say typically Hawai'i tends to see more island threats during the peak to latter half of the season. 

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