Don't Ignore Flash Flood Advisories

Robert Ballard
Robert Ballard

OAHU (KHNL) -- Wet and loud weather. Even though heavy showers have lessened in some areas runoff will continue. Within seconds it floods streams, trapping neighbors, even hikers.

Flash floods mean just that, they occur in a flash.

This is how it looked and sounded across the state.

When stormy weather strikes, forecasters at the National Weather Service give you advanced warning.

"Generally when we issue a flash flood watch conditions will become increasingly favorable for a heavy rain, showers, thunderstorms and flash flooding," said Meteorologist Robert Ballard.

This is Makiki stream.. But this is how high it got in March of 2006. It flooded homes and forced evacuations.

"Just because we issued the watch doesn't mean you have time to go out and go camping or go hiking," reported Ballard.

Stay away from areas prone to flooding. Around 8am rain gauges indicated nearly three inches of rain in the mountains. It doesn't take long for danger to reach low lying areas.

"The steep terrain in Hawaii means that when we get heavy rain in the mountains it's going to flow very quickly down stream and run off into creek and streams, " said Ballard.

Fast moving water took out much of the embankment of this Hauula property april of 2006. The stream jumped it's banks and there was significant damage.

Ballard insisted, "That's why we say flash flood watch, flash flood warning because it's going to happen very quickly you don't have a lot of time."

Hikers and people who live near streams are in the most danger.

"We do get a lot of people who want to try their luck at crossing flooded roads and streams during flash flood warning situations and it's very dangerous," warned Ballard.

Even though it may seem like a clear day where you are it's important to pay attention to weather warnings. it can rain hard in the mountains, and by the time it reaches low lying areas you should have moved to safe ground.