Multiple Swift Water Rescues During Maui Floods

September 14, 2016, 5:07 PM HST · Updated September 14, 5:10 PM
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Swift water rescues. Graphic: Wendy Osher / Maui Now.

Swift water rescues. Graphic: Wendy Osher / Maui Now.

Emergency personnel from Fire, Police and other County of Maui departments responded to multiple incidents of flash flooding and swift water rescues in Wailuku, Olowalu, and Ukumehame on the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016.

WAIKAPU STREAM SPILLS OVER BANKS At 7:37 p.m., Wailuku firefighters responded to reports of water crossing the road at Honoapiʻilani Hwy. near East Waikō Rd. Although the Waikapū Stream was running very high, under the bridge that crosses the highway, water was not flowing over the highway. Crews did find that the Waikapū Stream had spilled over the banks and was running down East Waikō Rd. near Pakana St. No immediate danger to life or property was found. The Wailuku crew then responded to ʻĪao Valley Rd. to assist in a rescue in progress.

MOKUHAU ROAD: PERSON STRANDED IN HOME At 7:49 p.m., a hazardous materials company from Kahului responded to reports of a person at the top of Mokuhau Rd. stranded in the home from rapidly rising stream flow. Police officers first on scene, reached the adult male and walked him and his two dogs down Mokuhau Rd. to safety. The hazmat crew arrived at 8:15 p.m. and evacuated 7 people from different dwellings using a 4-wheel-drive vehicle, and in some areas, by foot because the road had been washed out. There were several properties impacted by the flooding and damage assessments will be released when they become available.

ʻĪao Valley, erosion and flood debris from flash flood. PC: 9.14.16 by Wendy Osher.

ʻĪao Valley, erosion and flood debris from flash flood. PC: 9.14.16 by Wendy Osher.

MOTORCYCLIST SWEPT BY WATER AT IAO VALLEY RD: At 7:52 p.m. a rescue company from Kahului responded to a motorcyclist that was reportedly swept away by water crossing ʻĪao Valley Road in the area of Tropical Gardens of Maui. When rescue crews arrived, the motorcyclist was found walking uphill to safety. He was uninjured and declined medical attention. The motorcycle was found off the shoulder of ʻĪao Valley Rd. where stream waters were now swiftly flowing across the roadway a few feet deep.

ʻĪao Valley, erosion and flood debris from flash flood. PC: 9.14.16 by Wendy Osher.

ʻĪao Valley, erosion and flood debris from flash flood. PC: 9.14.16 by Wendy Osher.

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FAMILY STRANDED ON ROOF OF IAO HOME: Around the same time, a fire battalion chief, who was searching for the motorcyclist, encountered a woman who reported that her mother and two young children had retreated to the roof of the home as flood waters were flowing around and through the structure, near where the motorcyclist went down. Water overflowing from the Wailuku River had jumped its banks upstream, and was flowing too high and too swiftly at the front of the home to safely reach them. When responding crews arrived, the Kahului rescue crew and Wailuku engine company had to wait until water flowing across ʻĪao Valley Rd. subsided enough that vehicles could cross.  When flows retreated, crews eventually made it to the home and rescued the two boys and their grandmother from the roof of the house. They did not require medical attention.

ʻĪao Valley, erosion and flood debris from flash flood. PC: 9.14.16 by Wendy Osher.

ʻĪao Valley, erosion and flood debris from flash flood. PC: 9.14.16 by Wendy Osher.

92-YEAR-OLD MAN CARRIED OUT OF IAO HOME IN RESCUE BASKET: Fire crews also rescued two adult males and a female from a home next door and upstream from the family that was just pulled off the roof. One of them was a 92-year-old male that had to be carried to dry ground in a rescue basket.

6 DISABLED ADULTS EVACUATED FROM UA PLACE AT IAO: Another home just upstream on Ua Place received flooding on the first floor but the water had subsided by a few feet by the time fire crews reached them. Three males and three females were evacuated from the home that housed disabled adults. No medical attention was needed. All six were taken to the Red Cross shelter opened at the War Memorial Gym in Wailuku.

West Maui flooding PC: 9.14.16 by Brenda Brinkley Carpenter

West Maui flooding PC: 9.14.16 by Brenda Brinkley Carpenter

WOMAN TRAPPED IN VEHICLE AT OLOWALU: At 8:04 p.m., a ladder company and a 6 x 6 all-terrain water tanker from Lahaina responded to a female reportedly trapped in her vehicle 1⁄4 mile above the Olowalu Store. The vehicle had become stuck after the Olowalu Stream experienced a flash flood and overflowed its banks. Rushing water surrounded the vehicle, with water reported as reaching up to the windows. When crews arrived at 8:30 p.m., the female and vehicle had been towed out to safety by a Good Samaritan with a lifted 4-wheel-drive truck. The woman required no medical attention.

WOMAN STRANDED ON ROCK OUTCROPPING AT UKUMEHAME STREAM: At 8:32 p.m., after finding the situation under control at the Olowalu Stream call, the same Lahaina fire crew responded to another female reported to be stranded on a rock outcropping on the Kahului side of the Ukumehame Stream, near Pohaku Aeko St. When crews arrived at 8:56 p.m., the woman was reported to be safe by the woman’s husband. No medical attention was required.

Rain Totals: Puʻu Kukui Gets 9 Inches Over 12 Hours http://mauinow.com/?p=211956

Water Service Interruption on ʻĪao Valley Road http://mauinow.com/?p=211968

URGENT: Boil Water Advisory for Central and South Maui http://mauinow.com/?p=211972

STORM UPDATES: Maui Flood Watch Through Thursday http://mauinow.com/?p=211987

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