National Weather Service warns of possible 'catastrophic flooding' in Hawaii

The National Weather Service (NWS) on Monday warned that Hawaii could potentially face "catastrophic flooding" this week as heavy rains move across the state.

The NWS said a kona low — a drastic winter storm on the islands — will linger west-northwest of Kauai Monday morning, making its way westward through Wednesday and bringing heavy rain.

"Expect widespread heavy rainfall with this system, especially under the large heavy rain band, capable of producing catastrophic flooding, and strong gusty southerly winds through Wednesday," the agency said.

ADVERTISEMENT

"The heaviest rainfall currently over Maui County this morning will slowly drift westward into Oahu and Kauai later this morning. Improving weather conditions will start over the eastern side of the state by late Tuesday with drier air slowly spreading into the western islands on Wednesday. More typical trade wind weather will return from late Wednesday onward."

Some roads may become dangerous or unusable this week due to zero visibility and runoff. Landslides are expected in regions with steep terrains and debris may clog bridges, resulting in flooding.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) on Sunday wrote on Twitter, "Preparations are underway for emergency officials to respond to impacts from the Kona Low weather system moving across the state."