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Maui Mayor Assesses Haʻikū Damage in Daylight: Reminded of “Sheer Power of Fast-Moving Water”

Mayor Michael Victorino returned to the site of Monday’s flooding in Haʻikū to meet with officials from the State Department of Land and Natural Resources on Tuesday.

County officials report that some surveys were delayed because of ongoing poor weather, downed trees and debris that blocked vehicle access.

“When you see flood damage in the light of day, it’s a reminder of the sheer power of fast-moving water. We are so fortunate there were no reported deaths or injuries. I want to publicly thank our first responders who did heroic work under very dangerous conditions.”

–Mayor Michael Victorino

The Department of Public Works reports that a portion of Awalau Road in Haʻikū was washed away, and debris buildup at a nearby bridge continues to block access. Awalau Road remained closed Tuesday.

Heavy rainfall Monday in Haʻikū led to the washout of Awalau Road. Video: Cheryl Hendrickson

There is no immediate estimate on when flood waters will recede so the road can reopen.

Kaupakalua Bridge at Ulumalu Road was still covered with mud and debris, but passable as of Tuesday afternoon. Five culverts on Kaupakalua Road were also still clogged with flood-related rubble.

At least half a dozen homes were heavily damaged or destroyed according to early reports, but a more detailed assessment is pending.

Farm house swept away in flood. PC: courtesy Sylvia Cenzano.

On Hāna Highway in Kīpahulu, the roads are covered with mud and debris, but still passable for motorists. In Kahului, pumps were deployed to remove flood waters in near Aleo Place and Holua Drive. 

The County of Maui has asked residents who evacuated their homes on Monday are asked to stay away from the area until there is an “all clear” announcement. The evacuation remained in effect for residents in the vicinity and downstream of Kaupakalua Dam as of Tuesday evening.

Assessment at Peʻahi Road Bridge where heavy rains washed out the structure (3.9.21) PC: County of Maui / Shane Tegarden

Everyone is advised to stay off roads in the Haʻikū area and to exercise extreme caution due to debris and potential landslides. 

Please report of downed electricity lines to Hawaiian Electric’s trouble line at 871-7777. To report any storm-related damage, go to the County of Maui home page at mauicounty.gov and fill out a damage report form. Or, call the Maui Emergency Management Agency at 270-7285.

Mayor Michael Victorino speaks with state Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairperson Suzanne Case on Tuesday during an inspection of flood-damaged areas in Haʻikū. (3.9.21) PC: County of Maui / Shane Tegarden

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2021/03/10/maui-mayor-assesses-ha%ca%bbiku-damage-in-daylight-reminded-of-sheer-power-of-fast-moving-water/

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