HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than nine inches of rain fell on Mount Waialeale Friday as downpours and thunderstorms hammered Kauai, forcing the closure of highways and schools as streams and rivers saw water levels well above flood stage.
Even though the heaviest rains diminished by afternoon, north and east Kauai were kept under a flash flood warning until 10 p.m. Friday because of elevated stream levels.
Hanalei School was closed for a second day Friday because of the weather.
The National Weather Service said about 2 p.m. Friday, radar showed heavy showers were repeatedly forming over the mountains of Kauai, with additional rains affecting other parts of the island.
The downpours caused rapid rises in streams and rivers.
The USGS stream gauge at the Hanalei River showed a preliminary water level of 15.93 feet at 2:15 p.m. ― well above the flood stage of 8 feet.
NWS meteorologist Robert Bohlin said that at the same time, the gauge also had a preliminary flow report of 25,000 cubic feet of water per second.
“One basketball is roughly equal to one cubic foot,” said Bohlin. “That’s over 25,000 basketballs of water per second at that gauge during that observation time.”
The stream flow report still has to be certified by the U.S.G.S.
Kauai emergency officials closed Kuhio Highway at the Hanalei Bridge around 2 p.m. because of high water.
NWS meteorologist Tom Bichard reported that 3.71 inches of rain fell on Mount Waialeale between 1 and 2 p.m. alone.
Many other areas got more than three inches of rainfall in the six hours between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., including Kilohana with 3.29 inches and Wainiha with 3.21 inches.