An unusually fierce storm battered the Hawaiian islands Tuesday, leaving thousands without power and flooding streets across the archipelago.
The dangerous weather left tourists stranded, including several who canceled wedding plans, and some of the islands’ most iconic beaches barren as the threat of dangerous flash floods, landslides and crashing tree limbs persisted.
It also brought as much as 8 inches of snow atop some of the state’s highest summits. The conditions forced Gov. David Ige to issue a state of emergency for all of the state’s islands Monday night.
Five boys, all 9 and 10, were rescued from a raging creek by Honolulu Fire Department workers, a statement from the agency said.
The storm’s severe conditions were forecast to continue throughout the day Tuesday, bringing heavy rain and strong wind gusts to the state’s most populated island of Oahu, the National Weather Service said. Forecasters say the storm should move offshore Wednesday and allow for drier conditions the rest of the week. The storm, which brought at least a foot of water in some areas and allowed for forecasts of up to 100-mph wind gusts atop some of the island’s summits, knocked out power for about 4,500 people as of Tuesday morning, according to PowerOutage.us.
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. Photos on social media of the state’s most populated island showed debris floating down flooded streets and water rising up to the headlights of cars. On Maui, power outages and flooding were reported, and more than a foot of rain fell in some areas. The southern shores of Maui recorded at least 11.28 inches.
The relentless rain forced three couples from the U.S. mainland to postpone their Maui wedding plans, 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.