Rain closes Molokai access road

Vehicular traffic to the Molokai State Forest Reserve through the Maunahui access road has been closed due to unsafe road conditions caused by the recent heavy rains, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Tuesday.

The access road from the hunters check station to the Makakupaia gate is closed.

Forest use activities, such as hiking and hunting, are still accessible.

The forest reserve access road is projected to reopen as soon as weather permits and hazardous conditions are abated. Forestry crews will need to use heavy equipment to remove debris from the road and resurface where needed, the news release said.

The heavy overnight rains appeared to have dissipated some, with the National Weather Service canceling its flash flood watch for Maui County on Tuesday afternoon.

Rainfall totals for the 24-hour period ending at 2 p.m. Tuesday showed a gauge on Lanai recording 2.5 inches and one on Kahoolawe wasn’t far behind with 2.46 inches. On Molokai, the most rain fell at Makapulapai, with 1.67 inches.

Maui rain gauges with an inch or more were Puu Kukui in the West Maui Mountains with 1.37 inches, Kahakuloa with 1.35, Kula with 1.12 and Ulupalakua with 1.07.

The only weather advisory remaining is a high-surf advisory for north- and west-facing shores of Molokai and north-facing shores of Maui through 6 p.m. today.

The northwest swell was expected to exceed advisory levels Tuesday night into today, the National Weather Service said.

Waves on north-facing shores are expected to peak at 18 to 24 feet and on west-facing shores from 12 to 18 feet.

Beachgoers are warned to expect strong breaking waves and rip currents.

Weather forecasters predict that today through Friday there will be mostly cloudy skies, with showers likely. High temperatures should range from 78 to 83 degrees, with overnight lows of 66 to 71. Winds should blow from the south around 15 mph, becoming variable on Thursday and shift to out of the northeast on Friday.