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Thursday May 23rd, 2019 7:01AM

Olivia reduced to tropical depression, more rain for Hawaii

By The Associated Press
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HONOLULU (AP) — Tropical Storm Olivia was downgraded Thursday to a tropical depression after it crossed Hawaii Wednesday, making landfall on Maui and Lanai islands.

Weather forecasters warned downpours would continue, producing additional rainfall of 3 to 5 inches (8 to 13 centimeters) and isolated amounts of 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) on higher terrain.

That could cause life-threatening flash floods because the ground is already saturated, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said in a statement.

But Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa said he was hopeful the effects of the storm would be limited.

"I'm not seeing any really large areas of damage," Arakawa said at a news conference.

Maui County said several homes in Lahaina were evacuated because of rising waters in a nearby river.

A flash flood warning was issued for Molokai island and Maui. A wind gust of 51 mph (82 kph) was recorded at the airport on the island of Lanai.

The storm, which was a hurricane earlier in the week, slowly weakened as it neared the state.

Forecasters cancelled a tropical storm warning for Oahu and Maui Wednesday after the storm moved south away from the islands.

Matthew Foster, a meteorologist with the Pacific Hurricane Center, said moisture will linger through Friday even though the wind threat has died.

Gov. David Ige and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell both said they were watching the leftover moisture.

"We're all being cautious. We all do need to be very cautious until tomorrow," Caldwell said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency sent emergency teams and supplies to Maui ahead of the storm. The National Guard has mobilized personnel and trucks to the east side of Maui.

President Donald Trump has signed a disaster declaration, which will help FEMA respond, the governor said.

___

Associated Press writers Caleb Jones in Honolulu and Mark Thiessen in Anchorage, Alaska, contributed to this report.

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