Molokai remains under flood advisory even as heavy rains lighten

A flash flood warning remains up for Molokai as heavy rains continue to drench the island.
Published: Jan. 28, 2023 at 12:02 AM HST|Updated: Jan. 29, 2023 at 12:20 PM HST

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A flood advisory on Molokai has been extended until 3:15 p.m. as rain continues to fall on saturated ground, maintaining a high threat for more runoff.

The rest of the state, meanwhile, is also seeing rain, and remains under a flood watch.

The National Weather Service reported the West Wailuaiki rain gauge in east Maui got more than 13 inches of rain in the 24-hour period ending Saturday afternoon.

On Molokai, the Puu Alii rain gauge recorded more than 15 inches of rain by Saturday evneing, while the Molokai 1 gauge collected 13 1/2 inches.

Molokai residents say the flooding Saturday turned roads into rivers and created a dangerous situation.

Molokai resident Lian Chong Kalima was watching the rising waters closely Saturday.

“We are making sure that the river is not going to come flooding down our driveway,” Kalima said.

“Just worried that there’s gonna be lots of flooding and it’ll come into our driveway or garage or yard you know, even the roadway is making it hard for emergency crews to pass.”

On Saturday morning, the National Weather Service warned rain rates of 2 inches per hour were falling over much of Molokai. On Maui, locally heavy rains were centered over the slopes of Haleakala.

Luke Meyers, HIEMA State Disaster Management advisor, said Molokai’s remote communities make response more difficult.

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“We really challenged those that know that those valleys and those transportation arterioles that tend to be overwash with this types of flooding, not to be out about don’t drive through flooded areas and to check on your neighbors if you do start to see impacts,” Meyers said.


National Weather Service forecasters said the rains are thanks to a disturbance that’s destabilizing the atmosphere. The heaviest rains are expected for windward slopes and coastlines.

The disturbance may also cause stronger northeast winds to increase Sunday for Kauai and Oahu near wind advisory levels.

Showers may also increase late Saturday into Sunday for the island of Hawaii, and snow may also be possible on the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.