Rushing water tears through sleepy town in West Maui

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The Maui Police Department is urging the public not to drive to West Maui via Kahekili Highway due to heavy flooding in Honokohau Valley.

Tom Dechand shared video of raging brown water in Honokohau Stream. Fast-moving water washed away loose items, a shed, even vehicles. “You can smell the mud,” he said.

The stream overflowed onto Honoapiilani Highway at around 4 p.m. Wednesday. 

The remote town is used to flooding but residents say they’ve never seen it like this.

“There was nothing and it came up really quick. People said they saw houses floating down the river,” said a resident, who did not want to be identified. “The river rose within an hour and it jumped both banks. … Everyone said this was the biggest, because in February when it flooded like it did, everyone said that was the biggest. Now this is the biggest, then this happened.”

The remote area does not have cell service. The resident tells us emergency crews are on scene but haven’t been able to cross Honokohau bridge due to flooding.

No one was hurt.

Elsewhere on Maui, a normally quiet stream in Waihee Valley turned into a raging river Wednesday.

Maui County confirms four people were evacuated from a home in the valley with the help of personnel from the Department of Fire and Public Safety.

Several homes in the 4700 to 4800 block of Lower Honoapiilani Road were also evacuated due to rising waters in a nearby river. Click here for more video.

Tropical Storm Olivia made its first landfall at around 9:10 a.m., near Kahakuloa on the windward coast of the West Maui Mountains.

Olivia then made a second landfall at about 9:54 a.m. on the northeast coast of Lanai, about 6 miles north-northeast of Lanai City.

At this time, all Red Cross evacuation shelters are open to the public and have been since 6 p.m. last night. The last count for all shelter evacuees was at 41:

Maui High (pet friendly) – 10
Kihei Elementary (pet friendly) – 7
Kalama Intermediate (pet friendly) – 1
Hana Elementary and High School – 1
Molokai High – 0
Lanai Elementary and High School – 0
Lahaina Civic Center – 22

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