Downpours leave landslides, flooded streets across the island

A landslide competely closed off parts of Hana Highway at 9 a.m. Sunday near Mile Marker 21 in the area between Nahiku Road and Wailua Road in Hana. Emergency crews were able to clear one lane shortly before 1 p.m. Sunday and were alternating traffic while the cleanup continued. Poerava Tehiva photo

The Maui News

A landslide of debris temporarily blocked off part of Hana Highway, and flooding made South Kihei Road “impassable” Sunday as a week of stormy conditions continued on Maui.

Hana Highway was completely closed off at around 9 a.m. Sunday at Mile Marker 21 in the area between Nahiku Road and Wailua Road in Hana, the county announced. Emergency crews responded to the scene, and shortly before 1 p.m., authorities had reopened one lane and were alternating traffic while the cleanup continued.

The county also announced at 4:45 p.m. Sunday that South Kihei Road between Kalepolepo Park and Kaonoulu Street was “impassable due to flooding,” and would be closed until further notice.

Downpours soaked the island over the weekend, particularly in East and Central Maui. The West Wailuaiki gauge recorded 6.89 inches of rain over a 24-hour period ending at 4:45 p.m. Sunday, the most countywide. The Wailuku gauge recorded 5.71 inches, followed by the Kahakuloa gauge at 4.29 inches, the Kula 1 gauge at 3.81 inches, the Waikapu Country Club gauge at 3.19 inches and the Kahului Airport gauge at 2.42 inches.

A portion of South Kihei Road is shown completely submerged in floodwaters Sunday afternoon. The county announced at 4:45 p.m. Sunday that Kihei Road between Kalepolepo Park and Kaonoulu Street was “impassable due to flooding,” and would be closed until further notice. Kevin J. Olson photo

Lanai and Molokai received less rain; the Puu Alii gauge on Molokai recorded the highest total on island at 0.89 inch, while Lanai City saw 0.40 inch.

The National Weather Service extended a flash-flood watch for Maui County through 6 a.m. today. A flash-flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Heavy rainfall and thunderstorms were expected, with the greatest flood threat across windward portions of Maui County.

The weather service also issued a high-surf advisory for the north- and west-facing shores of Molokai and the north-facing shores of Maui from 6 a.m. today through 6 p.m. Tuesday. The swell is expected to peak tonight, then slowly subside through Wednesday. Along north-facing shores of Molokai and Maui, surf of 15 to 20 feet is expected. West-facing shores of Molokai are expected to get surf of 12 to 16 feet.

The Maui County Emergency Management Agency will continue to monitor the situation. The public can tune in to local radio and TV stations or the NOAA Weather Radio for any updates. NOAA Weather broadcasts can be reached by calling (866) 944-5025. NOAA Weather internet services can be found at weather.gov/hawaii.

Prerecorded advisories and notifications are available 24 hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200.

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