Hawaii is at risk of serious flooding that can see anywhere from 10 to 15 inches of rain on some islands, the National Weather Service warned on Monday.
The NWS said a "kona low," which is a type of seasonal cyclone in the Hawaiian Islands, would linger just west of Kauai until Wednesday. Even as the storm retreats into the Pacific, lingering rain storms will travel across Hawaii which the NWS predicts may linger and raise serious safety risks for residents.
“Anytime we’re looking at those types of rain totals, there’s the possibility of getting catastrophic impacts,” said meteorologist Christopher Brenchley, according to local media. “It’s more than what you’d get with our typical flash flooding events, so we definitely want people to be aware of that.”
Its most serious warning is that “catastrophic flooding” could take place from the heavy rainfall. Local media reports that the storm has already left some residential area inundated as roads faced flooding throughout the morning. There are additional reports of debris and fallen trees adding to the blockage on roads on Maui. Temporary shelters were also opened in Oahu in anticipation of more fierce winds and heavy rain.
Other services have also already been disrupted by heavy rain and flooding. According to a reporter with KITV4, a local ABC affiliate, Kahului Airport experienced a number of delays on Sunday after power was lost. Emergency crews were since able to restore power to the airport after activating emergency generators.
The possibility of landslides was also reported in some areas with steeper terrain, but none have been reported to have taken place.
There also remains a blizzard warning that was put into effect over the weekend for some regions of Hawaii, including Big Island. Over the weekend, a snowstorm blanketed the summit of Mauna Loa, leading to a brief shutdown of the site.