Funnel Clouds Reported as Storms Pound Oahu

OAHU (KHNL) -- Heavy showers fell over Leeward and Central Oahu, causing problems on the roads Thursday.

A bumper-to-bumper mess tangled up the afternoon rush hour, which stretched from Kalihi all the way out to Kapolei.

Traffic jams typically go hand-in-hand with severe storms, but the system triggered something Hawaii does not typically see.

Severe storms drenching West and Central Oahu took an eerie turn in Kapolei, where people reported seeing funnel clouds.

"I'm used to seeing tornadoes in Colorado. I can't believe there's funnel clouds in Kapolei," said Austin Fisk of Kapolei.

The dark clouds looming over the city dumped so much rain, a construction zone off H-1 going westbound, flooded. The Department of Transportation says floodwaters rushed down a hillside, crashed, and swelled over three-foot concrete barriers, spilling onto the freeway. That left a muddy mess that snarled the afternoon traffic. The storms also knocked out power. 1,000 customers in Kapolei had no electricity for three hours.

"This is the worst I've ever seen it get, rained out pretty hard for a while and we've got this river in the back because it's pouring," said Kyle Ikemoto, an employee at Newtown Golf Driving Range in Waimalu where floods carved a river on the course, forcing the driving range to shut down.

The water rushed down into a canal, already swollen from all the torrential storms plaguing the Rainbow State throughout the day.

While people reported seeing funnel clouds, the National Weather Service has not confirmed those reports.