Flooding in Honolulu wreaks havoc

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Flooded intersection in Honolulu on March 31, 2006

Torrential rains pounded Honolulu and the eastern part of the island of Oahu on Friday during the midday, causing flooding along streams and major highways and closing a major shopping mall.

Between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. HST (2030 to 2300 UTC), rain fell at the rate of about one to two inches (2.5 to 5.0 cm) an hour in Honolulu and up to three inches (7.5 cm) an hour in Waimanalo on the southeast coast.

Makiki Stream overflowed its banks at several points along its route, especially in the Pawaa district where homes and businesses near Kalakaua Avenue were inundated by up to a foot of water. Several houses in Manoa were also reported flooded as Manoa Stream overtopped its banks.

Kahala Mall, a major shopping mall in the upscale district of Kahala, was closed due to flooding that left 80% of the stores under as much as a foot and a half of water. According to eyewitness reports, the flooding started when rushing water breached a wall in the mall's movie theatres. The mall remains closed today and tomorrow while officials assess damage and clean up.

The rainstorm capped one and a half months of heavy rain and thunderstorms in the state of Hawaii, and arguably its rainiest March in recent memory.