Drenching showers set records ― and there’s more rain in the forecast

Published: Jun. 26, 2019 at 2:34 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Torrential rains Tuesday set records for June, and residents are being urged to brace for more wet weather in the forecast.

The disturbance that moved over Oahu on Tuesday night triggered widespread flooding, produced lightning strikes that injured three people, set a record for the wettest June day.

The National Weather Service said Honolulu saw more than 4 inches of rain over the course of the storm. The rainfall tallies also made it the wettest June on record.

June is typically Hawaii’s driest month.

Heavy rain pounded parts of Oahu overnight and into the early-morning hours, triggering flood alerts, road closures and sewage spills.

The state canceled the Honolulu-bound contraflow on the Pali Highway on Wednesday morning, but said the afternoon contraflow would open at 4 p.m. (an hour later than normal).

Drivers also encountered flooding along westbound lanes of Ala Moana Boulevard by Restaurant Row and Nimitz Highway past River Street.

The wet weather also triggered power outages that left thousands in the dark. Power had been restored by mid-morning.

And the city said it responded to two sewage spills overnight.

Manholes on North School Street and Kamehameha Highway overflowed late Wednesday, sending about 8,000 gallons of wastewater into Kalihi Stream and 24,000 gallons into Kapalama Stream.

Meanwhile, officials are also warning the public of the dangers of lightning strikes after three people were struck by lightning on Tuesday night, including a 10-year-old boy.

Including the lightning strike in Kalihi, Honolulu firefighters responded to 11 weather-related emergencies on Tuesday. First responders were especially busy around 8:30 p.m. after there were four calls for vehicles stalled in water.

A flash flood watch remains in effect for parts of the state as the threat of heavy rains and thunderstorms continues. Forecasters say deep moisture, combined with an upper-level low moving into the area, could bring on periods of heavy showers and possible thunderstorms.

On Wednesday, the city’s chief resilience officer said the “freak winter-type” storm is not normal.

“This storm has climate change fingerprints all over it," Josh Stanbro said, in a news release, "and is a good reminder that in order for us to protect our island and our safety, we need to move aggressively cut the cord to fossil fuels and make sure that we update our building codes and infrastructure to handle more severe weather.”

This story will be updated.

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