Storm to bring possible flooding to many islands

LIHUE — Tropical Storm Darby churned the rest of its way up the Hawaiian Islands Sunday, bringing strong wind, pounding surf and risks of flash flooding.

Bands of heavy rain were soaking Kauai and Oahu, which were under a tropical storm warning, flash flood watch and high surf advisory for east-facing shores Sunday night, while warnings were downgraded for the other islands.

The center of the storm was moving up the Kauai Channel and expected to pass over the island Sunday night with maximum sustained winds nearing 40 mph with higher gusts, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

Darby was expected to weaken to a tropical depression and become a post- tropical remnant low in about two days. Tropical storm force winds can extend outward up to 80 miles from the center.

Additional rainfall of 2 to 5 inches, with possible isolated maximum amounts of up to 7 inches, can be expected over portions of the Hawaiian Islands through today.

These torrential rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and landslides, according to the National Weather Service.

Swells generated by Darby were hitting Kauai and Oahu Sunday night but were expected to diminish today.

No severe damage or injuries have been reported from Darby, but it has toppled some trees and caused some localized flooding, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Mary Zanakis said.

On the Big Island, which got hit by the storm Saturday, a 70-foot vessel apparently broke free of its moorings in rough surf and sank early Sunday, Bill Taylor of the Department of Land and Natural Resources told West Hawaii Today.

Up to 300 gallons of diesel and 17 gallons of oil may have been aboard, and state officials were at the scene, Taylor said.

Due to debris in the water and on the shore, the shoreline extending from the King Kamehameha Hotel to the Kukailimoku lighthouse was closed to the public.

Darby also knocked down trees, cut power and caused some flooding on the Big Island Saturday, National Weather Service meteorologist Jon Jelsema said.

The Coast Guard closed commercial ports on Oahu and warned boats to find calm waters until the storm passes.

Several shelters opened statewide for residents who may need them.

The Red Cross said 226 people stayed in Big Island shelters overnight Friday and Saturday, and 43 people slept in Maui shelters.

Flash flooding was a risk because of Darby’s slow movement and heavy rain, officials said.

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The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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