A strong storm packing high winds and extremely heavy rain flooded roads and knocked out power across Hawaii. The winter weather system known as a “Kona low” prompted emergency alerts throughout the weekend. The National Weather Service said the storm brings the threat of “catastrophic flooding” in the coming days. Gov. David Ige issued a state of emergency for all of the state’s islands Monday night. “Now is the time to make sure you have an emergency plan in place and supplies ready should you need to move away from rising water,” he said. Shelters had been opened. On Maui, power outages and flooding already have been reported, with more than a foot (30 centimeters) of rain falling in some areas.
All islands still face the threat of flash flooding, lightning strikes, landslides and strong winds. Many public schools closed. Parks and recreation areas – including the Honolulu Zoo – also were closed. Nearly one foot of rain has fallen in some areas over the last 24 hours. Isolated areas of 20 to 25 inches are possible, the NWS predicted. In some cases, highways may be closed due to flooding and landslides, potentially cutting off communities. “Numerous landslides are expected in areas with steep terrain. Urban areas, especially on Oahu, may have severe flooding,” the NWS cautioned. Government offices halted operations. Hawaii has aging dams across the state that have been problematic during previous storms. State and federal agencies monitor dams.