WEIRD NEWS

Waikiki Beach Reopens Following Sewage Spill

Officials say the water there was not contaminated.

UPDATE: Aug. 27 -- The beaches at Waikiki and Ala Moana were reopened Wednesday morning following an announcement by Honolulu city officials that the water was not contaminated by Monday's sewage spill.

The ocean off those beaches was determined safe to enter after tests were conducted on water samples, according to Hawaii News Now. The spill was originally thought to be 500,000 gallons of sewage, but that estimate has been reduced to 128,000 gallons, according to KITV.

Original story continues below:

Honolulu's famed Waikiki Beach is closed after an estimated 500,000 gallons of untreated wastewater came pouring out of several manholes on Monday. 

After a weekend of thunderstorms and extreme humidity, debris reportedly clogged storm drains while the heavy rains had overwhelmed the city's sewage system. 

Authorities are now urging the public to stay away from most of Waikiki, Hawaii's most popular tourist attraction -- and that means not entering the ocean along the beachfront.

It could be a couple of days before it's safe enough for people to go back in the water, The Associated Press reports.

The city has posted signs to warn beachgoers of the potentially dangerous contamination while city crews work to stop the spill, KHON2 reports. Officials are also advising people to avoid contact with standing water near the site of the spill.  

"We don't know right now what is in the water. You could get a serious infection, get extremely sick or even worse," Shayne Enright, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Emergency Services, told AP.

But some people aren't taking the threat seriously. 

"Even if they don't let me, I'm still going in. … That's a lot of water there. I don't think a little particle is gonna hurt me," California visitor Adam Rago told Hawaii News Now.

The heavy rains, which stemmed from Tropical Depression Kilo, also caused flooding in many areas of the state, leading to flash flood warnings and school closures.

State officials said some people in Waikiki had opened manhole covers to help alleviate flooding, which actually let extra water drain into and overwhelm the sewage system. 

But as disastrous as it sounds, this spill can't hold a candle to Honolulu's 2006 sewage spill, during which almost 50 million gallons of raw sewage poured into Waikiki's infamous Ala Wai Canal.

WATCH: Overflowing manholes at Atkinson & Ala Moana Blvd. City crews on scene. #KILO Hawaii News Now

Posted by Stephanie Lum Hawaii News Now on Monday, August 24, 2015

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