Severe Weather Update: Flood Warning Expires, Power Restored, Highway Open
By Wendy Osher
(Update 9:12 p.m. 1/10/11)
The Flash Flood WARNING for Maui has expired, and has been replaced with a Flood ADVISORY in effect until 12:15 a.m. At 9:12 p.m., radar showed a few moderate to heavy showers continuing to move over leeward portions of Maui, including South Maui near Kihei. The Maui Civil Defense Agency reports continued ponding of water, most notably in the Kihei area.
Weather radar showed that the widespread heavy rain has ended. Although heavy rains have subsided, runoff is still occurring and streams will remain high for several hours. As of 8:30 p.m., power was restored to most customers with the exception of a pocket in Pukalani. (See 8:27 p.m. update below for full details) The Honoapiilani Highway was closed for about an hour–between 6:30 and 7:25 p.m.–as crews worked to clear mud, rocks and debris from the roadway.
(Update: 8:27 p.m. 1/10/11)
Power to most people affected by the outages on Maui has been restored. There is still a pocket of customers in Pukalani that remained without power at around 8:30 this evening.
Officials with Maui Electric Company say two separate weather related incidents caused the evening outages. The first occurred at 6:24 p.m. when a tree came down on a line in a gulch located near the Longs Drug Store in Pukalani. The line serves customers from Kanaha to Pukalani, but only parts of Pukalani were affected by outages from the incident. MECO Spokesperson Kau’i Awai Dickson said safety and accessibility remain an issue as water is still flowing in the gulch where the incident occurred. There is no estimated time on when the power will be restored to affected Pukalani customers.
The other, larger-scale outage was caused by a lightning strike at around 6:46 p.m. that affected the power lines that run from Puklani to Kula. The strike knocked out power to customers in various communities stretching from Haiku to Makawao, Kula, Pukalani and Hana. Hana was quickly brought back online by generators and other customers affected by the outage had power restored by 8 p.m.
For Storm Safety Tips from Maui Electric Company, please visit our previous post.
A Flood Warning remains in effect for Maui until 9:15 p.m., and a Flood Potential Outlook is in effect for the state as more wet weather is expected Wedensday and Thursday. The County of Maui has also been making preparations in advance of the flood advisories.
(Update 8:05 p.m. 1/10/11)
Power outages have been reported in various pockets in Upcountry Maui including Pukalani and Kula. Crews from Maui Electric Company are currently out on scene, assessing the situation and checking equipment. There is no estimated time on when power will be restored to affected residents. The cause of the outage has not yet been confirmed, but officials say they are quite sure it is weather related.
The County of Maui has also restored Public Transportation service that was affected by road conditions earlier this evening. The Honoapiilani Highway was reopened at 7:25 p.m. after being closed for about an hour as crews worked to remove mud, rocks and debris from the roadway between Ukumehame and Maalaea.
The Flash Flood Warning remains in effect for Maui until 9:15 p.m.
(Update 7:25 p.m. 1/10/11)
The Honoapiilani Highway, Hwy 30 is now OPEN. The road was closed earlier this evening between Ukumehame and Maalaea because of mud and rocks along the highway. Public Works crews worked to clear the area and the road was reopened at 7:25 p.m.
A flash flood Warning remains in effect until 9:15 p.m. for Maui island. Maui Civil Defense Officials say that while most of the heavy rain is beginning to move east of Maui, additional pockets of heavy showers are approaching from the west, and runoff in streams remains very high.
Locations in the warning include but are not limited to Wailuku, Waikapu, Waiehu, Pukalani, Pauwela, Paia, Olowalu, Nahiku, Makawao, Maalaea, Lahaina, Keanae, Kahului, Honokowai and Haiku. The warning may be extended beyond 9:15 p.m. if flash flooding persists.
(Update 6:11 p.m. 1/10/11)
The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood WARNING for the island of Maui until 9:15 p.m.
At 6 p.m., radar showed a band of heavy showers and thunderstorms moving over Maui from the west. The showers were moving slowly toward the east.
The entire island of Maui is included in the warning, however, areas where the threat of flash flooding is the greatest include Kihei, Kahului, Kula, Makawao and Windward portions of East Maui. A flood warning means flooding is imminent or occurring in streams, roads and low-lying areas.
Motorists and pedestrians should not cross fast flowing or rising water in their vehicles or on foot. The National Weather Service says, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”
There is also a Potential Flood Outlook for the entire state for heavy rains expected Wednesday and Thursday this week.
(Posted by Wendy Osher, information courtesy National Weather Service)