A combination of several meteorologic and topographic factors produced extreme rainfall over the eastern part of the island of Hawaii on November 1-2, 2000. Storm rainfall was concentrated in two distinct areas, the Waiakea and Kapapala areas, where maximum rainfall totals of 32.47 and 38.97 inches were recorded. Resultant flooding caused damages in excess of 70 million dollars, among the highest totals associated with flooding in the State's history. Storm rainfall had recurrence intervals that ranged from 10 years or less for maximum 1-hour totals to 100 years or more for maximum 24-hour totals
As part of this study, peak flow and/or erosion data were collected at 41 sites. Analyses of these data indicated that peak discharges of record occurred at 6 of 12 sites where historic data were available. Peak flows with estimated recurrence intervals from 50 to over 100 years were recorded at 4 of 11 sites. Peak flows were poorly correlated with total storm rainfall. Critical rainfall durations associated with peak flows ranged from 1 to 12 hours and were about 3 hours at most sites. Rainfall-runoff computations and field observations indicated that infiltration-excess overland flow alone was not sufficient to have caused the observed flood peaks and therefore saturation-excess overland flow and subsurface flow probably contributed to peak flows at most sites
Most hillslope erosion associated with the storm took place along or near the Kaoiki Pali in the Kapapala area. Hillslope erosion was predominately caused by overland flow.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Streamflow and Erosion Response to Prolonged Intense Rainfall of November 1-2, 2000, Island of Hawaii, Hawaii