Crews to drain flooded underground garage in Lahaina, conduct search

EPA says it’s expected to take “several months” for specialized crews to clear household...
EPA says it’s expected to take “several months” for specialized crews to clear household hazardous materials from fire-ravaged Lahaina.(EPA)
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 8:05 AM HST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2023 at 12:21 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Environmental Protection Agency started work on Thursday to drain an underground parking garage in Lahaina that’s been flooded since the August wildfire.

Tests have shown that the water content is similar to other sampled surface runoff collected by the county.

Crews are trying to remove an estimated 400,000 to 600,000 gallons of water from the Front Street garage by pumping it to an empty storm water basin near the West Maui Skate Park.

While pumping, workers will access the garage to conduct a search. Officials say pumping will continue until search operations are completed or the detention basin reaches capacity.

Maui County said recovery crews have not been able to search the garage while it’s been flooded due to the questionable structural integrity of the parking structure combined with the hazardous materials in the water.

“A water diversion system that kept the garage dry failed during the wildfire,” said EPA Incident Commander Tara Fitzgerald. “We are working closely with the County of Maui to safely drain the flooded garage and clear remaining hazardous materials.”

The EPA, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, FEMA and Maui County are collaborating on this operation.