As Iao Valley floodwaters recede, the damage left behind continues to rise

Finally some relief for homeowners in Iao Valley on Maui Saturday following another flood warning Friday night.

It gave them a chance to make some headway in the clean-up of the mess caused by flooding this week officials estimate damage in Maui County is in the millions.

“There’s probably 60 percent of or property has been affected. Maybe 15-20 acres has been pretty much leveled,” said Iao Valley resident Kainoa Horcajo told KHON2 by phone.

On Saturday, the water level in the Wailuku River appeared to have lowered, but the damage left behind continues to rise.

“We had a number of acres of coffee that was just maybe a couple of months away from harvest and all of that is gone. All of our pasture fencing is gone,” said Horcajo.

Horcajo says he and others in the Iao Valley have been busy working to redirect water away from homes.

“We’ve called in friends and companies that have backhoes and excavators and equipment to help us protect our property,” he added.

KHON2 was told a representative from the Hawaii National Guard was also out in the valley to survey the area Saturday morning.

Maui County officials tell me the damage at Kepaniwai Park is estimated to be at least $2 million.

Meanwhile, friends and family came together to help others in their time of need.

“There are a few families that needed donations of clothing, of bedding, of appliances because they lost everything,” said Horcajo.

It’s not yet clear how many people have been affected by the devastating floods, but Horcajo says although its been tough, but the aloha spirit can be felt across the community.

“They’re not calling, they’re not asking, they’re just showing up and getting to work and its really amazing to see,” he said.

Horcajo said the response on social media has been overwhelming. Online donations have been set up to offset the cost of using the big machinery to protect property. To donate, click here.

On Monday afternoon, the Department of Water Supply cancelled water restrictions for consumers on Iao Valley Road and Main Street who were previously given notice of the water restriction.

The request to conserve water remains in effect for Wailuku, Kahului and Lahaina.

The County of Maui wanted to remind visitors and residents that access to Iao Valley is limited to local traffic only, and that police have been stationed at the top of Iao Valley Road to monitor the area.

Residents have expressed concerns about people coming on to their property and taking pictures, or checking out the flood damage to the area. Please note that, in most cases, these people are trespassing upon private property.

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