7 rescued during flash flooding on Maui; threat of heavy rain isn’t over yet


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A stalled cold front near Maui fed heavy rain over the Valley Isle for much of Tuesday, and also brought rain to the Kona coast and Kohala areas.

A flash flood watch was in effect for all islands through Wednesday night.

Another cold front near Kauai could bring an uptick in rain for the Garden Isle overnight, and the two fronts are forecast to merge and bring heavy rain to the islands through Friday.

Spotty heavy rains could pop up at any time, but the greatest threat for wet weather is Thursday afternoon.

Runoff from Upcountry Maui triggered major flash flooding in Kihei.

Flooding shut down a portion of South Kihei Road, between Kaonoulu and Kulanihakoi streets until 8:15 p.m. Residents were asked to avoid the area as police, fire, and public works crews responded.

Firefighters rescued seven people at around 4 p.m. after their vehicles either became stranded or stalled in deep water.

Three were rescued from their vehicles on the roadway while four people were found stranded on a bridge just south of Kaonoulu Street. Stream water several feet deep was rushing over the road on both sides of the bridge. They decided to stay put and wait for the water to recede rather than chance crossing the gushing stream.

Crews had all of the stranded people safe on dry ground by 5 p.m. No one was hurt.

Libby Fulton shared video of the flooding near her property in Kihei.

“It is kind of wild. It wasn’t even raining. We had gray skies,” she told KHON2. “I just kind of heard it first and you know, maybe three to four times a year this happens in the gulch behind our house. … We’ve only ever seen it this full and wild in 2005.”

A flash flood warning for the island expired at 7:30 p.m.

Kihei (Photo: Libby Fulton)

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