Heavy rain causes road closures, flash flood warning

Excessive rains have caused another road closure. Route 19 at mile marker 25, located in the Laupahoehoe area, is now closed, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

The road will remain closed for an unknown amount of time, and motorists should avoid the area, police said.

Motorists are also urged to stay off the roadways and highways in the Hamakua, North Hilo, Hilo and Puna districts because of heavy rain, which is resulting in flooding and ponding on the roadways, police said.

Earlier this morning, Highway 19 was closed from mile markers 26 through 36 because of flooding, debris and other road hazards along the Hamakua Coast.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning until noon today for Hawaii Island. Locations in the warning include, but are not limited to Pepeekeo, Papaikou, Paauilo, Ookala, Laupahoehoe, Honomu, Hakalau, Hilo, Pahoa and Keaau.

Just before 9 a.m., radar showed areas of heavy showers and thunderstorms along the windward Big Island. Rain is falling at rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour in Hilo and Puna, according to the weather service.

This warning means flash flooding is imminent or occurring in streams, roads and low-lying areas. The public is urged to move to high ground now and to not cross fast-flowing or rising water in vehicles or on foot.

For more information about the warning, visit prh.noaa.gov/hnl.