Texas flooding tops Hawaii's record rainfall - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Texas flooding tops Hawaii's record rainfall

Posted: Updated:

   Houston has been filled with massive flooding from days of downpours, leading to dramatic rescues.

     The rainfall is also record setting. Texas now tops Hawaii for most rain from a tropical system.

   More than 52" of rain has fallen, eclipsing the old record set in the islands from Hurricane Hiki back in 1950.

    But hurricanes aren't the only cause of torrential downpours and wide spread flooding for Hawaii.

    "Whenever you have a rainstorm, and it sticks for a while something is going to happen. Even though it might not have a hurricane name, or a tropical storm name," said Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi. 

     "You can have a really intense rainfall event hit hard, hit fast, then leave and you don't have much of an impact. But if it sticks over an area, any area for a period of time you are going to start to have problems," said National Weather Service Hydrologist Kevin Kodama.

     That happened In November of 2000. Leftover moisture from former Tropical Storm Paul parked itself over the Big Island for several days, and dumped a massive amount of rain in a short amount of time, 

   Hilo got 27" of rain in just 24 hours, while Kapapala Ranch ended up with nearly 38" of rain from the downpours. 

   Flooding caused nearly $100 million in damage to homes, roads and infrastructure.

     One of the reasons Hawaii is prone to flooding is because of mountainous terrain on each island funnels runoff and rain into streams and rivers, which can quickly overwhelm them.

     It happened in 2016 on Maui when the Iao Stream rapidly filled, then eroded its banks, leading to the partial destruction of Iao Valley Park.

     Those who live near streams and rivers need to be aware of the dangers during downpours. If they are not police, fire and county responders can be called in to help.

     If the flooding is major or widespread, the state also has personnel and equipment ready to rush into the rising waters.
"The National Guard has assets that can go into flooded areas and clear areas or evacuate people," stated Miyagi.
     Many residents focus on being prepared during hurricane season with 14 days of food, water, and supplies in case they are stuck after a storm. 

     It is also important to know what to do and where to go during a disaster. That way if you are forced to leave your home, your escape won't turn into another dramatic rescue.

     Because experts know it is only a matter of time before Hawaii is hit again with more flooding rain.

"It is not a matter of if but rather when. Every island can and will get significant flash flooding," added Kodama.

Most Popular