Kihei Flooding prompts Evacuation preparations on Maui

December 26, 2010, 8:56 AM HST · Updated December 26, 8:42 PM
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(Update: 7:45 p.m. 12/26/10)

Public Works crews have cleared South Kihei Road of mud and debris. A small portion of Kaonoulu Road remains closed due to standing water.

So. Kihei Rd. Flooding. By Wendy Osher.

So. Kihei Rd. flood. By Wendy Osher.

So. Kihei Rd. flood. By Wendy Osher.

So. Kihei Rd. flood. By Wendy Osher.

So. Kihei Rd. flood. By Wendy Osher.

(Update: 5 p.m. 12/26/10)

Public works crews continue to clear South Kihei Rd of mud and debris. South Kihei Road remains closed between Wailana Place and the Whale Sanctuary, and between Waipuilani Road and Namauu Place.

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The roadway flooded during heavy rains overnight affecting nearby homes. Although evacuation preparations were made, emergency response personnel were able to stabilize the situation and no evacuations were made.

(Update: 11:30 a.m. 12/26/10)

Public Works crews arrived early this morning to begin clearing debris and mud from South Kihei Road caused by the heavy rains overnight. The crews also worked to clear culverts affected by a large amount of rain that overflowed streams at higher elevations.

Image courtesy County of Maui.

Photo courtesy County of Maui.

Photo courtesy County of Maui.

By daybreak, the flooding began to recede. Crews were on scene before 4 a.m. They used backhoes, loaders, dump trucks, an excavator and water tanker to clear debris from the roadway. At 11:30 a.m., parts of South Kihei Road remained closed to vehicle traffic as crews continue work to clear the roadway.

“We came out right away and started working to clear the road so motorists would be able to drive safely,” said Public Works employee and heavy equipment operator Jason Ambrose. County officials say the mud on the roadway fronting Maalaea Shores and Kihei Beach Condominium, was reported to be 2 to 3 feet deep.

Fire Department officials credited the immediate response of Public Works crews for a quick recovery of the roadways. They also credited Department of Transportation head Don Medeiros for the rapid deployment of a passenger bus to be on scene should evacuations become necessary. Because no drivers were immediately available, Medeiros responded by driving the bus himself.

Road closure information is available via the county’s information hotline at 986-1200. No injuries were reported.

(Updated 7 a.m. 12/26/10)

Heavy flooding forced the closure of a portion of South Kihei Road and the establishment of an emergency shelter in South Maui overnight.

Flooding by the old Suda Store in Kihei was subsiding by morning, but debris and mud continued to pose hazardous conditions. Photo courtesy Louise Alborano.

Maui Police closed South Kiehi Road between Kaonoulu Street and Ohukai Road at 12:55 a.m. due to flooding caused by overflowing culverts and gulches.

As a precaution, a 37-passenger bus was made available on scene to help transport residents of the Maalaea Surf condominium and nearby properties to an American Red Cross shelter at Kihei Community Center. As of 5:30 a.m. there were no occupants at the shelter and the flooding was subsiding. Conditions were compounded by high tide affecting drainage in the near shore roadways. Flooding in some low-lying areas was reported to be waist-high.

Fire crews from the Kihei, Wailea and Kahului stations responded to provide assistance to residents and businesses in the area. County Public Works crews used heavy equipment to clear culverts and South Kihei Beach Road is expected to remain closed until roadways are safely cleared of mud and debris.

No injuries are reported. Motorists are advised to stay out of the area. Some of the Maui Bus routes were impacted by the road closure. Road closure updates are available by calling the county information hotline at 986-1200.

The County opened its Emergency Operating Center around 3:30 a.m. to coordinate efforts between responding agencies providing assistance to flooded residents and businesses in the area and to assess the situation in surrounding areas.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; information courtesy County of Maui)

MauiNOW.com file photo. WO.

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