Maui residents cope with destructive flooding, possible water contamination

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Reports about damage from Monday night’s heavy rains continued to come in to Maui County Tuesday morning.

The last half-mile of the Pipiwai Trail, including the viewpoint for Waimoku Falls, is closed due to downed trees. Visitors can still access the first waterfall (Makahiku Falls), located a half mile past the Kipahulu Visitor Center; as well as the Bamboo Forest, located one mile from the visitor center. The trail after the Bamboo Forest is closed and barricades are in place.

In addition, the pools of `Ohe`o are also closed due to high water.

On Thursday, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park announced that the Ala Mauka Makai Trail leading from Hale Ho‘okipa Visitor Center to Honokohau Beach will be closed Sept. 29 from 6 am – 8 am. Reason for closure is to provide public safety during tree removal and helicopter operations.

Road closures include Ulaino Road at the first river, and Piilani Highway-31 between mile marker 29 at Manawainui Gulch and mile marker 30 at Pahihi River due to falling rocks and overflowing rivers.

Iao Valley Road-320 in the Wailuku area is open to local residence only.

Also closed:

  • Keanae Park will be closed until further notice.
  • Kepaniwai Park is closed until further notice. Heavy flow from Iao Stream partially collapsed part of the parking lot at the park. Mudslides also inundated the area with debris.
  • Baldwin Park is closed pending an assessment of the area.
Photo courtesy Loke Medeiros
Photo courtesy Loke Medeiros
  • Papalaua Wayside Park is closed pending an assessment of the area.
  • Iao State Park is also closed. Please refer to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources for more information.
  • Mala Ramp in Lahaina is closed due to debris from Kahoma Stream runoff. Please contact the state Department of Transportation for more information.

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Residents in Central and South Maui are urged to boil their water for 3 minutes before consumption due to possible contamination from flooding. Affected areas include Kahului, Wailuku, Paia, Spreckelsville, Puunene, Kihei, Wailea, Makena and Maalaea. The state Department of Health has advised that ice made in refrigerator units last night be thrown out as well.

The Department of Water Supply is also urging residents to conserve water in Wailuku, Kahului and Lahaina. Residents in Lahaina in particular are asked to take measures immediately because the Lahaina Water Treatment Plant is not operating due to heavy rain.

Emergency shelters were in use Monday night, with 15 people sleeping overnight at Hana High School and 8 people sleeping overnight at War Memorial Gymnasium. There were no overnight stays at the Lahaina Civic Center shelter.

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