Public Urged to Avoid Possible Flash-Flooding Areas
By Maui Now Staff
Officials with the County of Maui issued an advisory today urging hikers campers and other outdoor enthusiasts to avoid any areas where flash-flooding could occur.
“Recent heavy rains have caused our streams and rivers to run at high capacity and any sort of downpour could make crossing them very dangerous,” said County Communications Director Rod Antone in a press release.
The Department of Fire and Public Safety also urges hikers to let someone know of their planned hiking location, a time of expected return as well as carry a fully charged cell phone. With the ground saturated from the recent rains, department officials advise that, “even the shortest downpour may cause flash flooding.”
Maui County encourages visitor industry officials to pass this message along to their guests, and suggest that they watch the recently produced Maui County Ocean Safety Video, which has a section on the dangers of flash floods.
“Please keep in mind that we are in the middle of a very active Hurricane Season and already have another storm system on its way. Tropical Storm Ignacio is forecast to strengthen and likely reach hurricane status tomorrow (Thursday) as it moves closer to Hawaiʻi,” county officials said.
Heavy rains yesterday caused flash flooding that forced the closure of several roads and the rescue of 16 people from the “Commando Trail” and “Bamboo Forest” areas of East Maui.
Rescue crews noted that while the hiking areas were sunny, “there were dark clouds up near the mountainside that could not be seen from the trail.”
Emergency crews also wanted to remind the public to stay hydratated and drink lots of water because of the recent high humidity.