Officials urge public to heed flood warnings

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Storm drains are being cleaned and hiking trails closed. Emergency responders say they’re doing what they can to be ready for a possible storm. They’re asking the public to heed their warnings.

It was a beautiful morning on Oahu with people taking advantage of the sun and surf. But this may just be the calm before the storm.

“Right now there’s a front that’s approaching Kauai from the west and it’s quite a vigorous front too. There’s gonna be a lot of thunderstorms associated with it through the day west of Kauai today and then moving on to Kauai tonight,” National Weather Service meteorologist Derek Wroe said.

The front, moving fairly slow, poses an even bigger threat for flooding.

“When slow moving systems come across, you tend to get higher rainfall totals due to the longer amount of time. It’s over a certain area, so that’s something we’re concerned about,” Wroe said.

Two weeks ago, heavy rains caused flooding on Kauai’s north shore. Twelve hikers had to be airlifted off the Kalalau Trail after the Hanakapiai Stream became too high to cross. And in February, one woman died after being swept out to sea when she tried to cross the stream.

“We need to have tourists and locals alike heading the warning signs. Obey the warnings we have out there, educate yourself,” Kauai Deputy Fire Chief John Blalock said.

Friday morning, the Department of Land and Natural Resources closed the Kalalau trail entrance.

In a statement, the DLNR says, “The trail closure is a precautionary action for public safety in anticipation of a flash flood watch.”

The flash flood watch was also issued for Oahu.

Makiki Stream is one of the areas that has been prone flooding in the past, but the city says they have crews out checking areas like these to ensure drains are clear to lessen the chance for flooding.

But the National Weather Service says the threat to Oahu may not be as high.

“We’re on the edge of the system, so we could get pockets of heavy rain developing later on tonight and that could affect portions of Oahu,” Wroe said.

Stay with KHON2 News for the latest weather updates.

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