Route 19 reopens, flash flood watch in effect


Route 19 is now open for travel, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

However, police reminded motorists to drive safely and to be alert as weather conditions may change without notice.

Earlier this morning, motorists were urged to stay off the roadways and highways in the Hamakua, North Hilo, Hilo and Puna districts because of heavy rain, which was resulting in flooding and ponding on the roadways, police said.

Route 19 was closed from mile markers 25 through 36 because of flooding, debris and other road hazards along the Hamakua Coast.

The National Weather Service has also changed the flash food warning to a watch, which remains in effect until 6 p.m. today on the Big Island.

“Locally heavy showers and thunderstorms will persist on the Big Island today,” according the weather service. “Heavy rains during the past day have led to saturated grounds and additional heavy rainfall could produce flash flooding. While the entire island is under the threat, the greatest risk for flooding will be along the windward slopes.”

For more information about the flash flood watch, visit prh.noaa.gov/hnl.