Maui comes together to help Honokohau Valley residents rebuild

Maui comes together to help Honokohau Valley residents rebuild
(image: Facebook/Keith Keahi)
(image: Facebook/Keith Keahi)

Honokohau Valley, Maui - Keith Keahi documented the devastation to Honokohau Valley from his home on Wednesday when rain from Tropical Storm Olivia caused a river to overflow its banks and flooded the entire valley.

The dramatic videos show the terrifying torrent where homes and vehicles were washed away in a raging river.

"Your house is gone, Joe. There's nothing left. What's left or your house is pinned in that tree right there," Keahi said, in his video.

Keahi described the flood as "insane." He said the devastation is unbelievable and the valley now is unrecognizable.

"I've never seen anything like that. I've never seen that kind of strength. I've never seen just destructive forces. I mean it was just blowing my mind. Everything was just surreal. It was more of a dream," Keahi said.

County officials said two homes were completely washed away during the flood. Two more sustained significant damage and four others were also impacted.

"A neighbor up the stream has zip line 30 feet up in the air and he said the water was hitting the zip line," said Ali Vogele, another Honokohau Valley resident. "The water was hitting his 30-foot zip line and there was missiles, trees, whole trees, just shooting down."

Vogele said at one point his wife nearly got trapped, but she made it out just in time.

"I was freaking out. I didn't know what happened to her, I couldn't get in touch with her. Finally, about 20 minutes later, the river came down and I found her at my brother's house," Vogele said.

Vogele said although his home is flooded, he is glad everyone made it out alive.

Just like in the past, the community is already coming together. Rebuilding efforts are underway and volunteers are stepping up once again by bringing in food donated by various Maui restaurants.

"We have 100 meals here," said Lahaina resident Kai Nishiki. "So, we're gonna take all the food up there to the families and the keiki…there's people out there working in the mud and in the tractors and in the fields and pulling out trash and I just feel like it's a small part. We're feeding those who are actually doing all the hard work."

Anyone who has other damage from Olivia should report it to the county at 270-7285.

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