Emergency Shelter Opens as River Water Rises

January 11, 2020, 2:41 PM HST (Updated January 11, 2020, 2:52 PM)

Officials have opened an emergency shelter as Wailuku River rises, threatening the surrounding communities.

The Big Island is currently under a flash flood watch, which means conditions are favorable for flash flooding. Residents have been posting footage on social media of the swelling waters.

Communities along the Wailuku River at risk for flooding have been contacted in case water levels rise further and evacuation becomes necessary. A Shelter has been designated at the Butler Building at Afook Chinen Auditorium if evacuations are needed.

Jessica Hendricks captured rushing waters at Pi‘ihonua Bridge. She says residents in the area have already self evacuated.


Pi’ihonua Bridge in Hilo. Evacuations are already happening voluntarily

Posted by Jessica Henricks on Saturday, January 11, 2020

At 10:30 a.m., Isaac Krakauer captured footage of a roaring Waiānuenue Falls.

Rainbow Falls 1/10 around 10:30am. When up-stream gets 14" of rain.

Posted by Isaac Krakauer on Friday, January 10, 2020

Road closures in Hilo include Kamehameha Avenue, Bay Front Highway and Pauahi Street from Aupuni Street.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat. Tiffany is an award-winning journalist, receiving recognition from the Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists. Tiffany grew up on the Big Island and is passionate about telling the community’s stories.


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