Olivia is moving away from the state, but heavy rain will linger - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

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Olivia is moving away from the state, but heavy rain will linger

Tropical Storm Olivia triggered widespread flooding on Maui. (Image: Sandy Carr) Tropical Storm Olivia triggered widespread flooding on Maui. (Image: Sandy Carr)
On Maui, raging floodwaters were responsible for damaging several homes. (Image: Brandy Baltazar) On Maui, raging floodwaters were responsible for damaging several homes. (Image: Brandy Baltazar)
Several cars were swept away in floodwaters on Maui. (Image: Michael McGill) Several cars were swept away in floodwaters on Maui. (Image: Michael McGill)
On Maui, significant flooding was reported in several areas. (Image: Damian Antioco) On Maui, significant flooding was reported in several areas. (Image: Damian Antioco)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Olivia made a rare double landfall over west Maui and Lanai as a tropical storm on Wednesday, triggering torrential rains and significant flooding in some areas. That brought down trees, closed roads and knocked out power to thousands.   

And lingering moisture and threat for more rain is expected to continue Thursday and possibly Friday.

In the 5 a.m. Thursday update, Olivia was a tropical depression about 250 miles southwest of Lihue, or 305 miles west-southwest of Honolulu. Sustained winds were recorded at 35 mph.  

All tropical storm warnings have been dropped for the state, but a flash flood watch remains in effect through Thursday night, meaning heavy rain and flooding are still possibilities for all islands. 

Several weather advisories have also been posted as heavy rain continued to fall overnight. 

In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, the governor warned that while Olivia's center has passed the island chain, the danger isn't over: Flooding rains were still being seen on Maui into the early evening and were expected over Oahu through Thursday.

Forecasters echoed that warning: "Moisture associated with Olivia is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches in some areas, with isolated amounts of 15 inches," the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, in a recent update.

Olivia's center first came onshore near Kahakuloa on Maui's windward coast about 9:10 a.m., forecasters said. Then, about 40 minutes later, the tropical cyclone made a second landfall on the northeast coast of Lanai about six miles north-northeast of Lanai City.

[Olivia wallops Maui County, triggering power outages and flooding]
[Oahu sees blustery conditions, heavy rains as Olivia tracks west]

Olivia is the first tropical cyclone to make landfall on Maui in modern history, National Weather Service forecasters said. 

On Wednesday afternoon, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa urged residents and visitors to stay indoors and off the roads until the danger from the storm passed.

"Stay home. Stay off the roadways as much as possible until Olivia passes," Arakawa said, at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. 

Early Wednesday, Lanai Airport saw gusting winds to 55 mph. And on Oahu, some spots saw sustained winds to 33 mph with gusts to 41 mph.

But Olivia was largely a rain event.

Over the 24 hours ending at 2 p.m. Wednesday, West Wailuaiki in Maui saw more than 9 inches of rain, while Mahinahina got 3.5 inches and Hana Airport got 3 inches. With the ground saturated, officials warned that any additional drenching rains in some communities could trigger more flash flooding.

On Wednesday, President Trump approved a presidential disaster declaration for any damage associated with Tropical Storm Olivia.

Gov. David Ige said he spoke to Vice President Mike Pence about the declaration, who said federal resources would be available to Hawaii if needed. 

An emergency proclamation has also been issued for Maui.

Heading into Wednesday, the state closed all public schools in Maui County and urged non-essential government employees to stay home. But school officials announced that all public schools across the state would reopen on Thursday, except for Kilohana Elementary on Molokai. 

Olivia was the ninth hurricane to form in the Eastern Pacific region this season, and comes on the heels of Hurricane Lane, which dropped record-breaking rain on the Big Island, whipped up wildfires on Maui and triggered widespread flooding on Kauai.


Go to the Hawaii News Now Weather page for the latest forecast or check out our Interactive radar.
To get the latest weather conditions on your mobile device click HERE.


This story will be updated.

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