A low-level trough to the west of the Hawaiian Islands combined with a moist atmosphere have brought inclement weather that has led to a disaster declaration on Kauai and a special marine advisory after reports of a waterspout offshore of Kihei, according to the National Weather Service.
Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. on Monday declared a disaster for his county after several days of heavy rains caused flooding and a sewage spill. The state Department of Education said five public schools would be closed because of bridge and road closures on the island.
The declaration will allow the county to receive funding and additional resources if necessary, the mayor said in a statement. Carvalho also has asked Gov. Neil Abercrombie to issue an emergency proclamation for the entire island of Kauai. This will help the county get help from the state and federal governments if needed, he said.
The state Department of Education said that the closure of Hanalei Bridge and parts of Kuhio Highway have prompted it to close five schools today. Students from Hanalei and Kilauea schools along with Kapaa high, middle and elementary schools are being asked to stay home. The department is continuing to monitor the weather to decide whether to close other schools as well.
Things were wet but not as severe on Maui. Checks with fire and Maui Electric Co. officials Monday afternoon indicated no major damage or power outages.
The National Weather Service did declare a flood advisory for Maui to last at least until 9:45 p.m. Monday due to radar showing heavy rain over East Maui from Kipahulu to Hana as well as Hamoa and Nahiku on Monday evening.
A flood advisory was issued for the island of Molokai, to last at least until 10:45 p.m. Monday. The National Weather Service reported that radar showed a large area of heavy rain spreading over Molokai from the southwest.
A high-surf warning was in effect for east-facing shores of Maui and a high-surf advisory for north-facing shores of Maui and Molokai. The warnings were in effect until 6 p.m. today. Surf heights were expected to reach 15 to 20 feet.
Thunderstorm warnings for Maui County ocean channels were in effect until early this morning. They included the Kaiwi Channel, Pailolo Channel, Maalaea Bay, and windward and leeward Maui County waters.
Earlier Monday, a waterspout was reported offshore from South Maui and led the National Weather Service to issue a special marine warning. Matthew Foster, meteorologist with the National Weather Service on Oahu, believed that the conditions for the waterspout were created by winds from storms headed toward Maui that got "hung up" at Kahoolawe.
Foster said an upper-level trough to the west was creating widespread instability across the atmosphere across the islands. The condition was combined with a moist atmosphere.
He forecast the rain to be widespread on Maui today with scattered thunderstorms.
On Kauai, the heavy rains caused sewage to spill when a manhole overflowed next to the Wailua Wastewater Plant. The sewage mixed with storm water and flowed into a pond that formed within neighboring Lydgate Park.
Kauai has urged some residents in Anahola to move to higher ground. Waioli Church in Hanalei and Kilauea gym were allowing in people needing a place to rest.
The Garden Island newspaper reported at least 12 Kauai families were evacuated because of heavy rains Sun-day.
The governor Friday signed a disaster proclamation that will allow the state to begin emergency repair work on Kuhio Highway near Kilauea, his office said. A culvert running beneath the highway partially collapsed after two weekends of heavy rains eroded the soil foundation.