Hawaii bracing for 'catastrophic' rainfall with flash flooding, landslides

·1 min read
Hawaii bracing for 'catastrophic' rainfall with flash flooding, landslides

Portions of Hawaii are bracing for potentially catastrophic rainfall this week, just days after some islands were hit with an early winter snowstorm.

Major flash flooding, river flooding and landslides are all possible on multiple islands, with a flood watch in effect across the state through Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

MORE: Lava continues to flow out of Hawaii's Kīlauea volcano, one of the most active in the world

The city of Honolulu, which typically only sees about 2 inches of rain for the entire month of December, could get over a half foot of rain by Tuesday. Approximately 3 to 5 inches of rain has been forecast across low elevations, with 10 inches to 15 inches of rain possible in mountainous regions.

PHOTO: In this screen grab made from social media video, Dec. 5, 2021, a street in Waikiki, Hawaii is flooded following heavy rains. (Devin Wolery via Facebook)
PHOTO: In this screen grab made from social media video, Dec. 5, 2021, a street in Waikiki, Hawaii is flooded following heavy rains. (Devin Wolery via Facebook)

Heavy rain and flash flooding began affecting some areas Sunday afternoon and is now making its way westward toward the rest of the island chain on Monday and into Tuesday. Widespread gusty winds could cause issues as well.

Numerous landslides are also expected in areas with steep terrain.

MORE: Blizzard warning issued for Hawaii with at least 12 inches of snow forecast

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino asked residents to avoid visiting flood-prone areas. Hawaiian Electric advised residents to clear their yards of any debris and secure items to avoid outages.

The storm system prompted several schools to close Monday. Weather conditions are expected to improve late Tuesday.

PHOTO: A still image from a time-lapse video shows snow at the Mauna Kea summit in Hawaii, Dec. 1, 2021. (Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope via Reuters)
PHOTO: A still image from a time-lapse video shows snow at the Mauna Kea summit in Hawaii, Dec. 1, 2021. (Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope via Reuters)

The heavy precipitation comes days after warnings for snow and wind were issued at the Big Island summits with snowfall nearing a foot in some places. However, blizzard warnings are issued at the mountain peaks about every other year, on average.

ABC News' Daniel Peck contributed to this report.

Hawaii bracing for 'catastrophic' rainfall with flash flooding, landslides originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

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