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Hawaii declares emergency as flooding forces evacuations, causes extensive damage

Hawaii flooding
Posted at 9:24 AM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 11:25:22-05

HONOLULU — Hawaii's governor has declared a state of emergency after heavy rains, nearly two feet in some areas, have caused extensive damage and forced evacuations.

The National Weather Service has issued flash flood emergencies and warnings for parts of the islands of Oahu, Kauai and Maui. Every island has seen heavy rains and some localized flooding.

The heavy rains are predicted to last through Friday.

In his emergency declaration, Governor David Ige said "the saturated ground conditions, degraded stability and lateral support of hillsides and areas of land, and the increased water levels in the reservoirs throughout the State of Hawai‘i have increased the risk of erosion, seepage, piping, and fear of dam failure in the reservoirs of the State of Hawai‘i."

At least several homes on Maui have been heavily damaged and bridges have crumbled on Oahu, as floodwaters reached the roads.

For a time, there were concerns a dam would fail on Maui, and prompted emergency evacuations. So far, the dam has held.