Maui News

12 Hikers Airlifted From Flash Flood at Bamboo Forest

May 28, 2013, 10:29 PM HST
* Updated May 29, 7:49 AM
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File photo by Wendy Osher.

File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Twelve hikers were airlifted to safety when they became stranded by rising water in the Kailua area of East Maui, officials said.

A flood advisory for the area was in effect at the time.

The incident was reported at 3:19 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28, in the area often referred to as the “Bamboo Forest,” located near the 6.5 mile marker off of the Hāna Highway, authorities said.

Three different groups of hikers, ranging in age from 18 to 57,  were rescued from various locations along the trail, according to information released by Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.

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According to FS Chief Mainaga, the initial report came from a male caller who was able to make it to the highway after what he described as “flash flood” conditions. He reportedly advised authorities of three females who were stuck off the trail.

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Rescue personnel aboard the Maui Fire Department’s Air-1 helicopter extricated a total of eight women and four men from three separate locations  to a secured landing zone.

The hikers included two individuals from California, two from Washington state, and eight local residents, FS Chief Mainaga said.

Authorities said all individuals were OK and did not require medical attention.

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In addition to personnel from Rescue-10 and Air-1, the department also dispatched crews form Engine-2 to assist.

Maui was under a flood advisory until 11 a.m., and a separate advisory was issued again just before 2 p.m. due to what forecasters from the National Weather Service called “heavy downpours” upslope from Makawao and Huelo.

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