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Flood, winter weather advisories issued for Big Island

Updated: 
April 2, 2014 - 12:05am

Parts of Hawaii County were under weather advisories for most of Tuesday.

The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory, a winter weather advisory for Big Island summits, and a small craft advisory.

Waipio Valley, Hilo, Pahoa, Mountain View and Wood Valley, were among the areas under the flood advisory for most of the day.

Kevin Kodama, a NWS hydrologist, said the the advisory was issued for “pretty much the whole windward side of the Ka‘u district.”

According to the NWS, heavy rains were falling over the slopes above Hilo with rates as high as 3 inches per hour in the Waiakea Uka area.

The heavy rain sparked a flash flood warning for Pepeekeo, Papaikou, Honomu, Hakalau, Mountain View, Glenwood and Keaau until 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The NWS reported there was a significant amount of runoff into streams already running high from previous rainfall, including the Waiakea, Palai and Alenaio streams, and all were expected to have rapid rises in water levels.

As of 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, the Hilo airport saw the most rain over a 24-hour period with 7.74 inches. Other areas that experienced heavy rain over the same period included Laupahoehoe with 7.47 inches, Saddle Quarry with 7.47 inches, Island Dairy with 6.67 inches, Piihonua with 5.84 inches and Hakalau with 6.56 inches.

Mountain View experienced 4.55 inches of rainfall, Glenwood had 6.17 inches, Waiakea Uka experienced 6.41 inches and Pahoa had 3.17 inches of rainfall over the 24-hour period.

Honokaa experienced very little rain with 0.03 inches. Waimea experienced 0.1 inches of rain.

Kodama said he expects the rain to slow down later in the week.

“We’re going to be wet for a while, at least for (Tuesday). Wet overnight and things might taper off, and will see an improving trend into tomorrow,” he said Tuesday.

The Big Island summit winter weather advisory is in effect for summits above 12,500 feet until 6 a.m. today.

A representative from the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station said the Mauna Kea access road was closed all day Tuesday because of ice on the road.

A winter weather advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties.

A small craft advisory will be in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday.

The NWS reported strengthening trade winds will create rough and hazardous seas this week and a small craft advisory has been issued for strong winds and high seas.

The advisory means that high wind speeds are expected to produce conditions hazardous to small crafts and inexperienced mariners; those operating smaller vessels should avoid navigating in such conditions.

Two power outages were reported Tuesday.

Kristen Okinaka, Hawaii Electric Light Co. senior communications consultant, said 30 customers in Nanawale were without power for several hours and 270 customers on Kawiki Road were without power for five and a half hours because of trees on the line.

Email Megan Moseley at mmoseley@hawaiitribune-herald.com.