HONOLULU (KHON2) — As heavy rain moves toward the islands over the weekend, the Maui Emergency Management Agency is preparing for potential impacts. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino is asking residents to avoid visiting flood prone areas.
“I would postpone any trips out to Hana within the next few days, because the road becomes very dangerous and land slides are very prevalent in this time of the year,” said Mayor Victorino. “We also ask everyone to not come in through the back end because there’s potential for severe flooding.”
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Hawaii County Civil Defense created a new tool ahead of the storm to show any flooding, road closures, and outages in real-time.
Hawaiian Electric Company is asking residents to clear their yards of any debris and secure items to avoid outages.
“What happens is things get picked up by the wind and sometimes end up in our power lines,” said Shannon Tangonan, HECO spokesperson. “We’ve had everything from you know, tarps, tents, all kinds of stuff get into the powerlines and cause outages and those are avoidable.”
Experts say don’t wait until the severe weather is here, now is the time to prepare.
“Before the event, you want to clear drainage outlets, gutters from debris that may prevent water from flowing off the property,” said Dennis Hwang, UH Sea Grant College Program faculty member. “Here’s a long term tip, you may want to raise electrical equipment so the outlets are above floodwaters.”
The Maui Police Department is also asking residents to create a family emergency plan and avoid driving across flooded roads.
“I would recommend if you don’t have any urgent business kind of stay near home,” Mayor Victorino said. “This is what I call cuddling up weather because we can all stay together and cuddle up.”
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Anyone dealing with emergency impacts is asked to call police or the fire department.