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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 10:25 p.m., Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Kahuku, Ka'a'awa schools closed Thursday

Advertiser Staff

The state Department of Education tonight announced that Kahuku High & Intermediate School and Ka'a'awa Elementary School will be closed Thursday because of flooding conditions brought on by today's heavy rains.

The National Weather Service extended a flash flood warning for O'ahu until 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

A flash-flood warning for Kaua'i was issued through 11 p.m.

In addition, a flash flood watch will be in effect through Thursday, the weather service said.

Police closed Kamehameha Highway near Waikane Store in Windward O'ahu about 8 tonight because the roadway was flooded. The road was reopened at 10 p.m.

Civil defense officials said at least two homes had flooding in Ka'a'awa and Honolulu Fire Department crews were on the scene assisting the residents.

Radar shows heavy rain over the Windward side from Kahuku to Turtle Bay.

Other affected areas are La'ie, Hau'ula, Kualoa, Ka'a'awa, Waikane, Punalu'u and Waiahole.

The weather service urged people to move to higher ground, because excessive runoff from the storm can cause flash flooding of streams and may trigger more rock and mudslides in areas of steep terrain.

People were warned not to try to cross fast flowing or rising water in their vehicles.

Heavy rains stalling over the Windward coast were causing flooding on area roads and this morning closed Kahuku High and Intermediate schools.

School officials decided to send students home at about 10 a.m. due to excessive water ponding in the parking lot, roads and fields.

As school buses and parents picked up the children, custodians set up sandbags around the classrooms, officials said.

Kahuku Public and School Library was closed at 1 p.m. due to the heavy rainfall and flooding in the Kahuku area, state library officials said.

The library was scheduled to reopen tomorrow at 9 a.m., unless the current adverse weather conditions continue.

The rain started about 8 a.m. and was coming down at a rate of about 1 inch per hour, said Tom Birchard, a National Weather Service forecaster.

A mudslide closed one lane of Johnson Road in Hakipu'u, but the lane was later reopened. There were reports of water reaching car doors on Kamehameha Highway at Kualoa Ranch.

Any flooding should be reported to police.