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West Hawaii hit by heavy rains

It rained Thursday afternoon. That’s not really news to anyone who even looked outside any time after about 1p.m., but it is remarkable because some forecasts predicted Maui and the Big Island would be spared the nasty weather.

Oahu and Kauai did take the brunt of the storm Thursday, although the National Weather Service did issue a flood advisory for the entire Big Island and winter weather advisory for island summits.

The National Weather Service is predicting 3 to 5 inches of heavy, wet snow across the Big Island summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea overnight as the storm tracks east across the state. The Mauna Kea summit access road is closed above Hale Pohaku due to to snow and icy conditions.

Tiere Ubando sweeps debris from Honolua Wahine, at the Kona Inn Shopping Center on Alii Drive, after rainstorms and street flooding occurred Thursday afternoon. Shopping center crews sandbagged the entrance to prevent flooding into the shop.

Tiere Ubando sweeps debris from Honolua Wahine at the Kona Inn Shopping Center on Alii Drive after rainstorms and street flooding occurred Thursday afternoon. Shopping center crews sandbagged the entrance to prevent flooding into the shop. (Photos by Baron Sekiya/Hawaii247.com)

Buckets of rain sloshed down along the west side, drenching the Kohala, Kona and Ka’u Districts with as much as one-half inch per hour by late afternoon. In Kailua-Kona, the weather socked in the entire town, blotting out views of Kailua Bay and Hualalai mountain.

Thunder and lightning rolled from the west side over the Hilo side as the storm moved that way.

No reports of severe flooding, landslides, major power outages, or accidents attributed to the bad weather were made by nightfall.

An accident snarled traffic around 3 p.m. along the upper part of Palani Road, pushing drivers through Holualoa. It was not clear whether the weather contributed to the accident.

The Department of Health advised the public to stay out of streams and coastal waters that have turned murky or brown by the storm. These waters and flooded areas may contain chemical pollutants or harmful microorganisms from overflowing cesspools or septic tanks, as well as animal feces washed into storm drains.

Even if there are no signs present, the Department of Health said people should avoid going into brown, murky storm or standing water. Direct contact with contaminated water may sicken or infect people, particularly if they swallow or get it in their mouths, eyes, noses, cuts or scrapes.

The brunt of the storm had moved to the east and north by 11 p.m., however, rains are forecast through Friday.

Cars head north along the Mamalahoa Highway (Hwy 190) in North Kona as a rainstorm drenched the area Thursday.

Cars head north along the Mamalahoa Highway (Hwy 190) in North Kona as rainstorms drenched the area Thursday.

Road crews worked to keep the highways clear of debris during the heavy rain which hit the Kona area Thursday.

Road crews worked to keep the highways clear of debris during the heavy rain which hit the Kona area Thursday.

 

 

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