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Tropical Storm Olivia’s outer rain bands reach Maui

KIHEI (KHON2) – Maui residents are bracing for the worst from Tropical Storm Olivia Tuesday.

We’re starting to see the storm’s outer rain bands move ashore.

Depending on the storm’s track, Olivia could potentially make a direct hit on the Valley Isle.

“Normally in Kihei, we get five to seven inches of rain a year, and already it’s cloudy, it’s overcast,” said Allen Tom with the Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. “We’re seeing rain come down which is kind of odd for Kihei in September.”

Most of Kihei is at sea level, so it’s prone to flooding.

“If we get a lot of rain at once from the mountain, it’s going to flood,” Tom said. “I think people need to be aware of that.”

Other low-lying areas prone to flooding include the Honoapiilani Highway.

The county is concerned about people being stuck on the west side, so there are response resources pre-staged there.

Lahaina is also a landslide concern due to the wildfires during Lane that charred the mountain side.

All non-essential state and county offices will be closed Wednesday, along with Dept. of Education schools, in anticipation of dangerous conditions. (Only one charter school – Kihei Charter – has informed the county that they will also be closed.)

Emergency evacuation centers opened at 6 p.m. Tuesday:

  • Maui High School (pet friendly)
  • Kihei Elementary School (pet friendly)
  • Kalama Intermediate School (pet friendly)
  • Hana Elementary & High School 
  • Molokai High School
  • Lanai Elementary & High School
  • Lahaina Civic Center

Smoking and drinking alcohol is not allowed at any of the evacuation centers or at the center parking lots. Also pets entering pet-friendly shelters still need to be in a pet carrier or cage for safety. Owners must also provide food and water for their pets.

Shelter evacuees must bring their own food, water and blankets. In case of a power outage at a shelter, please remember to also bring a flashlight or battery-operated lantern.

The county urges people to use shelters as a last resort, and whenever possible, to stay with family or friends outside of hazard areas.

The following County services will also be affected Wednesday:

  • Maui Bus service will continue as usual Tuesday, but all Maui Bus service will be canceled Wednesday.
  • Hana Bay and the Keanae Restrooms will be closed by 1 p.m. Tuesday to prepare for the heavy rains in East Maui. All other county parks and park facilities will be closed Wednesday.
  • There will be no trash pickup Wednesday.
  • All county landfills will be closed Wednesday. 

Just a couple of week ago, the islands prepared for what was then Hurricane Lane, and many on Maui had supplies on hand from that, and kept them. 

“I’m not anticipating we’re going to have a whole lot of problems with restocking shelves and people hoarding too much, because after Lane, all the hoarders found that they had to consume all of the things that they bought, and I think they’re a little more cautious this time,” said Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa.

The Department of Water Supply asks that all customers conserve water due to high winds and/or flooding that could disrupt power supply to water sources. Customers should store drinking water for use during the storm in the event of a shutoff. In general, consumers should have a safe supply of water for emergency use by storing one gallon of water per person per day for 14 days, as well as have some water on hand for pets. Customers can call the 24-hour service line (270-7633) only if a water problem occurs. 

The county asks that all residents do their part to get ready for Olivia by having an emergency kit and evacuation. Remember to shelter in place and stay informed. Do not focus on the exact forecast track or intensity as storm conditions can change rapidly.

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