Areas of Big Island flooded by Hurricane Lane face another threat

'On pins and needles': Maui braces for direct hit as Olivia marches westward

HILO, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - When Hurricane Lane barreled by the state, the Big Island got more than 4 feet of rain some spots.

A little over two weeks later, the Big Island is preparing for more flooding rains as Olivia targets the island chain.

On Monday, Big Island crews were clearing out culverts and stream beds and ramping up preparation efforts.

Talmadge Magno, head of Hawaii County Civil Defense, said Olivia also brings the threat of high winds.

"Make sure you have the supplies and are prepared to shelter in place," Magno said. "The biggest concern is the level of impact."

He added that the good news is the Big Island just went through four days of really hot, dry weather.

"Pretty much all the streams have dried down to a trickle so they'll be able to accommodate a bit more," he said. "But if we do get a heavy amount, we could be right back in the same situation as Lane."

But Big Island officials are warning that Olivia could cause more landslides along the Hamakua Coast.

Last month, torrential downpours from Hurricane Lane caused the ground in that area to give way.

"The ground is still right now so unstable, so any amount of rain I think is just going to take down more ground and you're going to have a lot more cliffside failures and landslides," said Valerie Poindexter, Hawaii County Councilwoman.

She added, "I'm really more concerned about the tropical force winds. The corridor along the Hamakua Coast is mainly all eucalyptus trees and those trees were planted so close to our power lines and the state highway I'm just afraid of what may happen when those trees topple over," said Poindexter.

This story will be updated.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.