Morning rains strand motorists in Waikane; flash flood warning canceled

While steady rains soaked Windward Oahu this morning, prompting flash flood warnings and stranding some motorists, weather officials said a shear line just northwest of Kauai will move over the Garden isle this morning and continue moving southeast, bringing showers.

Three vehicles were stuck in floodwaters in Waikane this morning.

Three units with 10 firefighters responded to the area near the intersection of Kamehameha Highway and Waikane Valley Road shortly after 8:30 a.m. today, around the same time police closed the highway in the area.

Honolulu Fire Spokesman Capt. Scot Seguirant said firefighters walked and led two drivers from two separate vehicles away from the flooded area.

A good Samaritan in a four-wheel drive truck rescued a driver from a third vehicle in the area.

Seguirant said floodwaters were estimated at a depth of 2 feet at one point before the water subsided.

The vehicles were eventually cleared from the roadway.

No injuries were reported. The highway was reopened around 9:30 a.m., but the state Department of Transportation advised motorists to drive with caution due to minor debris and ponding in the roadway.

The flash flood warning for Oahu was canceled shortly after 10 a.m. A brown water advisory is in effect from Kahuku to Waiahole.

Forecasters said these showers will move across Oahu tonight, across Maui County on Saturday and across the Big Island of Hawaii Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning.

Strong north, northeast winds, meanwhile, will spread over the islands behind the shear line, bringing cooler, drier air behind, so the rainfall will subside.

“It looks like most of the rain should be past by showtime,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Tina Stall. “There could be a stray shower left around but mostly it’s going to be breezy and cool.”

The public is advised to stay out of flood waters and storm water runoff due to possible overflowing cesspools, sewer, manholes, pesticides, animal fecal matter, dead animals, pathogens, chemicals and associated flood debris. Not all coastal areas may be impacted by runoff, however, if the water is brown, stay out. Continue to practice good personal hygiene and follow-up with your primary care physician if you have any health concerns.

Reporter Rosemarie Bernardo contributed to this report.

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