Heavy rains fail to lift Upcountry drought declaration

The 1.5 inches of rain at Kahului Airport on Thursday broke the old record of 0.65 inch set for that day in 2009, the National Weather Service said.
The highest rainfall recorded on Maui in the 24-hour period ending at 4 p.m. Friday was in East Wailuaiki in East Maui, 3.83 inches.
Puu Kukui in the West Maui Mountains logged 2.47 inches; Mahinahina in West Maui, 2.17 inches; and Wailuku, 2.12 inches.
It also rained Upcountry, which is under a stage-one water shortage declaration due to low rainfall in the watershed.
Dave Taylor, director of the county Department of Water Supply, said Friday afternoon that the rainfall was great but one event is not enough to lift the drought declaration, which is “more of a long-term thing” or a seasonal outlook.
“What is more important is whether the flow of water continues,” Taylor said.
Department officials are monitoring the flow of the Wailoa Ditch, which brings in water from the East Maui watershed; rainfall; and weather forecasts.
What the rainfall did do was to avert stage-two or stage-three drought declarations, which would have led to increased water rates, Taylor said.
Department officials were looking at the prospect of bumping up to those levels within a week before the rain came.
The weather service said that a high pressure strengthening north of the islands will bring moderate trades through the weekend and next week.

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