Maui mostly back to normal with Tropical Storm Lane gone

New storm, Miriam, is not expected to impact the state

Life in Maui County got back to normal, more or less, Monday with most public services and businesses open again after Hurricane Lane threatened the islands late last week.

Lane ended up weakening to a tropical storm, but still dumped heavy rains on parts of the island, which caused a sinkhole/gully on a Haiku road, and whipped up fires that raged through West Maui.

With Lane coming so close to Hawaii as a hurricane, the next storm in Pacific, Miriam, has caught the attention of many residents. It still is a tropical storm, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph late Monday afternoon, but was forecast to grow to a hurricane overnight.

But meteorologist Matthew Foster of the National Weather Service on Oahu said Monday afternoon that Miriam is not expected to impact island weather, except maybe to bring some rain.

It still is far from Hawaii — 1,545 miles from Hilo at 5 p.m. HST Monday — and was anticipated to make a turn north well before it gets to the islands, he said.

Miriam is forecast to be a tropical storm by Saturday and to weaken to nothing by the time it reaches Hawaii’s longitude, Foster said.

“It is a completely different system and environmental conditions,” he said.

The daily rhythm of the island returned Monday. All public schools were open — except for the four Lahaina schools, which will reopen today — after closing Wednesday. UH-Maui College reopened as well.

All state parks, including Iao Valley State Monument, and Haleakala National Park reopened. So did the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge.

State offices reopened, and most county services and facilities were open and operating Monday.

The Maui Bus and Maui Economic Opportunity’s paratransit services were running again.

Trash was being picked up and landfills were open.

All parks facilities were open, except for the Lahaina Aquatics Center. It should reopen Wednesday after pool maintenance is completed, parks officials said.

The rain sliced a gully through Puu Way in Haiku, which will take months to repair, the county Public Works Department said. A temporary pedestrian bridge will be built in the next week over the collapsed culvert.

It was raining in parts of the island Monday, with more than 3 inches falling on Puu Kukui in the West Maui Mountains and 1.27 inches in Kula in the 24-hour period ending at 5 p.m.

Maui police reported on its Facebook page at 5 p.m. that Kula Highway near Sun Yat Sen Park was closed due to flooding. A flash-flood advisory was posted for Monday afternoon and evening.

New rainfall records were set on Saturday and Sunday at Kahului Airport, which is normally dry this time of year. Rainfall totaling 0.7 inch fell Saturday, breaking the record of 0.13 inch set in 1957. On Sunday, 0.44 inch fell, breaking the 0.12 inch record also set in 1957.

Thousands lost power as Tropical Storm Lane passed through late last week and into the weekend. Maui Electric Co. said it had restored power to all but 12 customers Upcountry by Monday afternoon.

In Haiku, crews worked to repair a downed pole and lines in Waikina Loop and assessed power restoration to four customers on Puu Way.

Power was restored in Lahaina early Sunday morning after going out Thursday afternoon. Repairs continued on two of the three damaged transmission lines to ensure the resiliency of the electrical system, said MECO spokeswoman Shayna Decker.

The West Maui Senior Center was closed Monday but will reopen today.

Kaiser Permanente reported all Maui facilities open Monday.

The Maui Emergency Management Agency is asking individuals and businesses to file a damage report to help give the county a clear picture of the damage caused by Lane and the fires and to see if the county qualifies for federal assistance. To report damage, call 270-7285.

Those seeking permits to rebuild structures lost in the West Maui fires may file for an expedited building permit as allowed under the building code. For more information, call the Public Works Department at 270-7845.

And people may obtain fee waivers to dump storm debris at county landfills. They may register with the Department of Environmental Management at 270-7285.

Hawaiian Airlines said Monday that it was extending its change fee waivers for flyers holding tickets on Hawaiian and its codeshare partners to, from, and through Hawaii island and Maui between Aug. 21 and Sept. 5. For more information, go to www.hawaiianairlines.com/alerts/travel-waiver-for-hurricane-lane.

* Lee Imada can be reached at leeimada@mauinews.com.

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