Flash flood warning due to heavy rains, highway closed in Ka`u

Weather advisory map. Image via National Weather Service

UPDATED (10:31 p.m. on 9/17/2015)

Hawaii Police Department reports that Highway 11 is now open between the 58 and 59 mile markers. All roads and highways are open at this time.

Original Post (6:57 p.m. 9/17/15)

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Hawaii Island until 9 p.m. Thursday (Sept 17).

At 6 p.m. Hawaii County Civil Defense reported Mamalahoa Highway (Hwy 11) in Ka`u was closed between mile markers 58-59 at Kawa Flats due to water flooding over the highway. Weather radar is showing areas of light to moderate rain in the area but there was heavy rain earlier this afternoon upslope which is causing excessive runoff over the highway.

Locations in the warning include, but are not limited to, Naalehu, Kawa Flats, Punaluu Beach, Pahala and Hawaiian Ocean View Estates.

Campers and hikers should avoid low lying flood prone areas. People should stay away from streams, drainage ditches and low lying areas prone to flooding. The rainfall and runoff will cause hazardous driving conditions due to ponding, reduced visibility and poor braking action. Excessive runoff may cause rockslides and mudslides in steep terrain.

Do not cross fast flowing or rising water in your vehicle or on foot. Turn around, don’t drown.

This advisory may be extended beyond 9 p.m. should heavy rains persist.

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