Paradise lost! State of emergency is declared for ALL of Hawaii as huge storm barrels in, bringing winds, downpours and floods as beaches empty and residents are warned to prepare to evacuate

The National Weather Service said that a low pressure system looming over all of Hawaii's islands threatens 'catastrophic flooding' in the coming daysGovernor David Ige issued a state of emergency for the entire archipelago on Monday, telling residents to stock up on supplies and prepare to evacuate Up to 25 inches of rain is forecast in some areas, with wind speeds of up to 55mph that forecasters warn could down tree limbs  'This is an extreme weather event,' said Adam Weintraub, a spokesman for the Hawaii Emergency Management AgencyWeintraub said that officials are preparing for 'fast water rescues' in significantly-flooded areas'Numerous' landslides were predicted by the National Weather Service: 'Debris in streams and gulches may clog bridges and culverts resulting in dangerous flooding.' the service saidAbout 8,287 people were without power on Maui as of 1.30 am on Tuesday, according to poweroutage.us, up from about 5,000 on Monday afternoon 

A strong storm packing high winds and extremely heavy rain flooded roads and knocked out power across Hawaii, with officials warning Monday of potentially worse conditions ahead.

The National Weather Service said the storm brings the threat of ‘catastrophic flooding’ in the coming days as a low-pressure system slowly moves from east to west and lingered on the edge of the archipelago. 

Hawaii is being buffered by up to three inches of rainfall an hour, as well as winds of up to 55mph that forecasters warn could down tree limbs, with locals warned to steer clear of power lines. 

So far, there have not been any reports of deaths or injuries, although five boys were rescued from a flooded stream earlier today. The island’s famous beaches are deserted, while tourist attractions including a festive lights display in Honolulu closed early to deter people from going outside during the dangerous weather. 

‘Now is the time to make sure you have an emergency plan in place and supplies ready should you need to move away from rising water,’ said Governor David Ige, who issued a state of emergency for all of the state’s islands Monday night.

‘This is an extreme weather event,’ said Adam Weintraub, a spokesman for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, to the New York Times. He said that officials are preparing for ‘fast water rescues’ in significantly-flooded areas.

‘Numerous’ landslides were predicted by the National Weather Service: ‘Debris in streams and gulches may clog bridges and culverts resulting in dangerous flooding.’ the service said.  

With storm clouds in the background, beachgoers are seen on Waikiki Beach on Monday

With storm clouds in the background, beachgoers are seen on Waikiki Beach on Monday

People hold umbrellas as it begins to rain on an otherwise empty beach in Honolulu on Monday. A strong storm packing high winds and extremely heavy rain flooded roads and downed power lines and tree branches across Hawaii, with officials warning of potentially worse conditions ahead

People hold umbrellas as it begins to rain on an otherwise empty beach in Honolulu on Monday. A strong storm packing high winds and extremely heavy rain flooded roads and downed power lines and tree branches across Hawaii, with officials warning of potentially worse conditions ahead

On Oahu, where four shelters had been opened, most of the beaches in Waikiki were empty Monday as only a few people walked with umbrellas during passing heavy showers. Roadways were flooding in the area and cars crept through downtown as water gushed out of manhole covers.

Honolulu Fire Department workers rescued five boys, ages 9-10, from a raging stream, a fire department statement said.

One boy was rescued after he released his grip on a branch and the rushing waters took him to firefighters close by downstream, who grabbed him. Firefighters used a ladder to rescue another boy farther downstream and jumped into the stream go get the other three out of the water, the statement said.

A car is pictured turning onto flooded Cooke Street in Honolulu. 'The roads, everything are a mess,' said Wailea resident Nicole Bonano. 'There are lots of trees down'

A car is pictured turning onto flooded Cooke Street in Honolulu. ‘The roads, everything are a mess,’ said Wailea resident Nicole Bonano. ‘There are lots of trees down’

People scramble to get out of the heavy rain. All of Hawaii's islands still face the threat of flash flooding, lightning strikes, landslides and strong winds over the next two days, according to the National Weather Service

People scramble to get out of the heavy rain. All of Hawaii’s islands still face the threat of flash flooding, lightning strikes, landslides and strong winds over the next two days, according to the National Weather Service

Hawaii was hit with a major storm and we are def feeling the effects of it now . My poor little town 梁.

Power is intermittent currently. pic.twitter.com/5GeIMsccb9

— Jenpai (@CarrymeJenpai) December 7, 2021

None of the boys was injured and the fire department said that they had gone into the stream to play after school. As of Monday afternoon, no fatalities related to the storm were reported.

On Maui, power outages and flooding already have been reported, with more than a foot of rain falling in some areas. Parts of the island have already gotten 12 inches of rain, a ‘dangerous amount’ according to NWS meteorologist David Roth. 

About 8,287 people were without power on Maui as of 1.30 am on Tuesday, according to poweroutage.us, up from about 5,000 on Monday afternoon.  

The relentless rain forced three couples from the U.S. mainland to postpone their Maui elopements, said Nicole Bonanno, owner of Bella Bloom Floral, a wedding florist and boutique in Wailea.

The weather also led to delayed flower deliveries, a lei company with no power and employees braving flooded roads littered with debris, Bonanno said.

‘The roads, everything are a mess,’ she said. ‘There are lots of trees down.’

In this webcam image provided by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, snow is seen atop the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii on Monday
In this webcam image provided by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, snow is seen atop the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii on Monday

In this webcam image provided by the U.S.Geological Survey, steam rises from the west rim of the summit collapse on Kilauea in Hawaii. Snow is not rare at the summit of Mauna Kea, which is nearly 14,000 feet high. The last time there was a blizzard warning for the summit was in 2018

Maui resident Jimmy Gomes was waiting for the lights to come back at his home on Monday after losing power at 6 pm Sunday. His rain gauge measured 7 inches: ‘I haven´t seen this kind of rain in a long time,’ he said.

‘Last night the wind was howling,’ he said. ‘But this morning, it came in really foggy and it rained, then it stopped.’

Big Island Mayor Mitch Roth declared a state of emergency Sunday for potentially heavy rainfall and strong winds.

Some areas south of Hilo were hit hard with extremely heavy rain over the weekend, weather officials said.

All islands still face the threat of flash flooding, lightning strikes, landslides and strong winds over the next two days, according to the National Weather Service.

Oahu and Kauai could see the brunt of the storm Monday and Tuesday. But for Maui and the Big Island, which have already been soaked, ‘it´s not going to take a lot of additional rain to really lead to big problems,’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meteorologist Robert Ballard said.

While wearing rain coats, beach goers play in the rain on Waikiki Beach, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, in Honolulu

While wearing rain coats, beach goers play in the rain on Waikiki Beach, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, in Honolulu

Dark clouds hung today over a lifeguard tower on Ala Moana Beach Park

Dark clouds hung today over a lifeguard tower on Ala Moana Beach Park

The winter weather system known as a ‘Kona low’ prompted emergency alerts throughout the weekend while delivering wind, rain and even blizzard conditions at some of Hawaii’s highest elevations.

A weekend blizzard warning was issued for the state’s highest peak, on the Big Island.

Snow is not rare at the summit of Mauna Kea, which is nearly 14,000 feet high. The last time there was a blizzard warning for the summit was in 2018. No residents live at the summit, but there are telescope observatories and other offices where officials work.

The weather service said there were reports of 8 inches of snow on the road below the top of Mauna Kea, and officials were working to get to the summit to get more measurements. The forecast was for a foot of snow at the mountain’s peak.

Ala Moana Beach Park was mostly empty of beachgoers, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, in Honolulu, due to a strong storm packing high winds and extremely heavy rain

Ala Moana Beach Park was mostly empty of beachgoers, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, in Honolulu, due to a strong storm packing high winds and extremely heavy rain

Diamond Head mountain is shrouded in rain was shrouded in rain today

Diamond Head mountain is shrouded in rain was shrouded in rain today

Beach goers play in the rain on Waikiki Beach

Beach goers play in the rain on Waikiki Beach

There were also strong winds, with gusts of nearly 90 mph (138 kph) recorded atop Mauna Kea.

Other areas at lower elevations also saw strong winds, with gusts above 50 mph recorded at several locations across the state, according to weather officials.

Kona low is a type of low pressure system that forms near Hawaii during the winter season, and it has some unique meteorological characteristics, said Ballard, the National Weather Service´s science and operation officer in Hawaii.

‘What we tend to see are a tremendous amount of tropical moisture gets drawn up from equatorial regions. Kona lows tend to move slowly and so they can keep heavy rain and thunder showers focused over one area for a prolonged amount of time, and they can also cause pretty strong to damaging winds,’ Ballard said.

People in downtown Honolulu contend with heavy rain and flooding

People in downtown Honolulu contend with heavy rain and flooding

Hawaii has aging dams across the state that have been problematic during previous storms. In 2006, an earthen wall of Kauai’s Kaloko Reservoir collapsed during heavy rain and sent a wave of water and mud rushing down a hillside. Seven people, including a pregnant woman, were killed.

Rainfall in March caused fears that a dam had breached on Maui when floodwaters destroyed homes and inundated roadways. The same storm system brought damaging floods to Oahu and a landslide on Kauai.

Ballard said other state and federal agencies monitor dams, but that these are the conditions that people need to be cautious of.

‘It´s just a situation that we need to continue to monitor and be aware of and make sure that folks understand that this is the type of situation where we can get flash flooding that happens very, very suddenly,’ Ballard said.

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