Advertisement

With some roads still impassable on Maui, crews use heavy machinery to clear debris

Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 3:37 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 7, 2021 at 7:42 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Clean-up efforts are underway on Maui after several parts of the island saw severe flooding and mudslides.

Heavy rain especially drenched Kihei on Sunday night, causing damage to several homes and vehicles. Some cars even got stuck in the mud as flash flooding brought debris to roadways.

“The amount of water that can drop in 10 or 15 minutes is absolutely staggering,” said Maui geologist, Jerry Jameson. “You can get two or three feet of water flowing across the ground and surface runoff is extremely erosive. It has tremendous power and of course if you’re in any doubt look around.”

Along South Kihei Road, heavy machinery was used to scoop up mud, water and debris on Tuesday. Crews were dumping it in giant trucks to be hauled away from the area.

County crews and private companies said they are doing their best to try to make these roads passable again.

“It’s a major problem that we only seem to address when we have the storm,” said Mike Moran, president of the Kihei Community Association. “Here’s the situation now. Three months, six months when the ocean clears again and the water is gone, I expect we’ll be back to the same thing again sadly.”

Moran said because several parts of South Maui are in flood prone areas, the problem of flooding and the need for prevention must be addressed immediately.

“Maui has been pretty well spared up until now and we’re going to start getting more and more of these storms. I’m convinced of that, so I think we have to start planning ahead,” said South Maui Councilmember Kelly King.

Maui County’s Director of Public Works Rowena Dagdag-Andaya said preventative measures were taken to prevent catastrophic flooding.

“There was work that had taken place for about a month in the areas such as Kihei to Wailea. We also did some maintenance on drainage, ditches and culverts in the Makawao, Pukalani and Kula area in the months and also in the days leading up to this storm event,” she said.

Officials

RELATED COVERAGE:

Meanwhile, Hawaiian Electric said crews are responding to scattered outages in Kula, Pukalani, Wailuku, Lahaina, Haiku and Maui Meadows. Officials said roughly 1,500 customers are affected.

As of 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, over 4,000 customers are without power in Upcountry Maui.

HECO said while field crews from Oahu have joined effort to help restore power, Maui residents are asked to prepare for extended overnight outages.

Officials said crews are working to repair downed powerlines and damaged electrical equipment. HECO reminds the public to stay at least 30 feet away from downed lines as they are still energized.

Maui County is also urging residents to document and report storm-related damages using an online form.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.