Hawaii News

Update: Strong thunderstorms sweeping over Kaua‘i

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Update at 3:44 p.m. Nov. 28: Strong thunderstorms will impact Kaua‘i through 4:15 p.m.

At 3:34 p.m., Doppler radar was tracking strong thunderstorms along a line extending from near Na Pali State Park to seven miles southwest of Barking Sands.

Movement was northeast at 20 miles per hour. Those outdoors should consider seeking shelter inside a building.

Impacted locations include Kapa‘a, Kekaha, Princeville, Kilauea, Alakai Swamp Trails, Hanalei,
Na Pali State Park, Barking Sands, Wainiha, North Fork Wailua Trails, Waimea, Polihale, Koke‘e State Park, Ha‘ena, Waimea Canyon State Park and Kalihiwai.

Update at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 28: A strong thunderstorm is about to impact Ni‘ihau in Kaua‘i County.

At 1:21 p.m., Doppler radar was tracking a strong thunderstorm 22 miles west of Barking Sands, or 48 miles west of Līhu‘e, moving northeast at 5 miles per hour.


Winds will reach up to 40 miles per hour, and could knock down tree limbs and blow around
unsecured objects.

This storm will remain over sparsely populated areas of Ni‘ihau.

If outdoors, consider seeking shelter inside a building.

Update at 9:54 a.m. Nov. 28: The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a flood advisory for all of Kaua’i until 1 p.m. today because of the potential for flooding caused by excessive rainfall.

At 9:52 a.m., rain was spreading over the island from the south, with rainfall rates of up to 2 inches per hour seen in embedded heavier showers.


Minor flooding on roads, in poor drainage areas and streams is possible, along with dangerous flows over low-water crossings and water over roadways.

The public is advised to stay away from streams, drainage ditches and low-lying areas prone to flooding.

Original story from Nov. 27: Kaua‘i County officials urge the public to be vigilant because of the potential for severe weather starting Tuesday and continuing through Thursday.

According to the National Weather Service, a Kona low is expected to develop west of the state during the next few days. This will lead to an increase in southerly flow and bring a moist and unstable airmass into the islands.

A flood watch is in effect from 6 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday afternoon, as conditions are favorable for flash flooding. The National Weather Service says flash flooding is likely to threaten life and property on Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau.


Residents and visitors should monitor the weather and be prepared to take action in the event that a flash flood warning or other severe weather product is issued.

“Officials advise caution and recommend avoiding non-essential travel and outdoor activities during inclement weather with heavy rain and possible strong thunderstorms in the forecast,” said Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency Administrator Elton Ushio. “In recent flash flood warning events, multiple people had to be rescued when trying to cross flood-prone areas like roadways, rivers/streams, and low-lying areas.”

Officials also note that Kūhiō Highway, near the Hanalei Bridge, could be closed with little to no advance notice if a flash flood warning is issued and utilities and other services could be disrupted.

In addition, event organizers will provide updates on the Lights on Rice Parade in case of severe weather this week, ahead of the scheduled parade in Līhu‘e on Friday, Dec. 1.

County, state and federal officials will continue to monitor the situation and actively coordinate in preparation.

Kaua‘i officials recommend the following actions when preparing for a weather emergency:

  • Emergency Preparedness Kits – Emergency preparedness kits should contain at least a 14-day supply of food and water (including non-perishable food and one gallon of water per person per day). Kits should also include a battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra prescription medicines, and other items specific to individual and family needs. It is also recommended that face coverings and hand sanitizer also be included in your kits. Set aside an emergency supply of any needed medication and keep a copy of your prescriptions in case you run out of medication after a disaster.
  • Check Your Property – Walk your property, check for small outdoor items that could be picked up by high winds, and check for potential flood threats. If time and conditions permit, clear your gutters and other drainage systems.
  • Make an Action Plan – Discuss with family members what you plan to do if a hurricane or tropical storm threatens. Make an action plan, including details such as whether your family will shelter in place or evacuate to a shelter. There are no plans to open shelters at this time; however, the county will work with the American Red Cross to open shelters on an as-needed basis and announce a list of open shelters if or when they become available.
  • Outdoor activities – Visitors and residents are urged to check conditions before venturing out for hiking, river, or beach excursions. Do not cross swollen rivers or streams; always check with a lifeguard at any lifeguard station before entering the ocean. Know before you go. For up-to-date information about Kaua‘i ocean conditions and safety, please speak to a county lifeguard, visit www.hawaiibeachsafety.com, or call the Ocean Safety Bureau at 808-241-4984.
  • Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative – Please visit www.website.kiuc.coop/ to learn more about how to prepare for a power outage.
  • Kekaha landfill and refuse transfer stations – The Kekaha Landfill and County refuse transfer stations may close due to severe and inclement weather. For more information, visit kauai.gov/TransferStations or call 808-241-4841.
  • Kaua‘i Department of Water – Severe weather storms can cause damage to water systems, disrupt electrical power to DOW pumps and equipment, block road access to water sources, and may impact water quality. Customers should prepare for emergency water service disruptions by having the recommended water storage supply readily available for essential uses.  For more water emergency preparedness tips, please visit kauaiwater.org.
  • Stay Tuned – Continue to stay tuned to local media broadcast channels for the most up-to-date information. The following provides a list of important resources on emergency preparedness.
    • Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency – kauai.gov/kema
    • National Weather Service – weather.gov/hfo, or automated weather line at 808-245-6001.
  • To sign up for the Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS), the county’s emergency notification service, please visit kauai.gov/KEMA and click “WENS.” You may also call the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency at 808-241-1800.

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