Maui News

Powerful Storm Hits Maui County

October 24, 2017, 12:08 PM HST
* Updated October 25, 12:01 PM
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A powerful storm hit most of the Hawaiian islands on Monday, Oct. 23 through Tuesday, Oct. 24. The storm started on Oahu causing multiple power outages and flooding before heading towards Lanai and Molokai. Flash Flood Warnings were issued for Lanai and Molokai before the storm hit Maui around 11 p.m.* (See below for timeline of events)

Update 4:30pm: 

As of 4 p.m. Oct. 24, Maui Electric crews are working to restore a remaining 1,100 customers in the areas of Kahului, Paia, Haiku, Kaanapali and South Maui by 8 p.m.

Update 3:30 p.m.: The NWS has cancelled the Flash Flood Watch for Kahoolawe, Lanai, Maui and Molokai.

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The cold front that produced flash flooding last night and today has moved east of Maui County and the threat has diminished.

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Update 1:30 p.m.: As of 1 p.m., about 47,000 customers are back online in areas of Central, South, West, East, Upcountry Maui and parts of Haiku after lightning strikes hit the island’s electrical grid and cut power off to about 66,500 customers this morning. Crews are continuing work to restore power by circuits in these various areas, including repairing damaged electrical equipment and downed power lines.

UPDATE 1 p.m. From Maui County: An overnight storm disrupted power and services across Maui early Tuesday morning.

As of noon the following were still affected:

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– Hana Highway near Airport Road remains closed due to a downed power pole

– Piilani Highway near Kalepa is closed due to a rockslide. Flooding has also closed Piilani from Kalepa to Kaupo although if need be, emergency services can pass through.

– Kaunoa Senior Center is closed due to power outage.

– Some Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing offices are closed because the county cannot connect with the state database. Kihei, Kahului, Lahaina and Hana offices are open. Pukalani remains closed.

– University of Hawaii Maui College canceled morning classes for their Kahului campus and resumed classes at 10 a.m. Private schools also canceled classes. State public schools remain open.

– Maui Electric continues to work on restoring power to customers after lightning strikes overnight caused extensive damage and knocked out electricity across the island. No word as to when power will be restored.

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Kihei flooding 2 p.m. Oct. 24, in front of Maui Lu Resort. Photo Courtesy Kevin J. Olson

Kihei flooding 2 p.m. Oct. 24, in front of Maui Lu Resort. Photo Courtesy Kevin J. Olson

Views in Summit District. Taken at Headquarters Visitor Center, located at 7000 feet of elevation, at 12:45 p.m. One view is the overlook where you can usually look out and see the ocean.
The other is the park road. PC: Haleakala National Park

Views in Summit District. Taken at Headquarters Visitor Center, located at 7000 feet of elevation, at 12:45 p.m. One view is the overlook where you can usually look out and see the ocean.
The other is the park road. PC: Haleakala National Park

Storm reaching Kihei around 12:17 a.m. PC: Kevin J. Olson

Hookele and Hana Hwy intersection. Oct. 24. PC: Nikki Schenfeld

Downed power line at Hookele and Hana Highway intersection. PC: MECO

MECO working on downed power lines on Hana Highway after a storm hit Maui on Oct. 24. PC: Nikki Schenfeld

There were reports that power was back in Wailuku around 5:58 a.m.

There were reports Wailea had power around 8 a.m.

There were reports Kihei had power before 9 a.m.

There are reports that power has come back on in Haiku at 11:30 a.m.

Maui Now is waiting on MECO for more updates.

As of noon, about 43,000 customers on Maui have been brought back online following lightning strikes early this morning that damaged parts of the electrical grid and cut off power to about 66,500 customers.

At this time, crews continue to work on restoring outages in parts of Central, South, West, East, and Upcountry Maui.

Maui Electric asks customers who remain without power to keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. During a power outage, a fully-stocked free-standing freezer will keep most of your foods frozen for up to seventy-two hours. The freezer section of a refrigerator-freezer will keep most of your foods frozen ten to twenty-four hours.

Maui Electric crews continue to work as safely and quickly as possible to make repairs to the damaged equipment and are actively restoring different parts of the island in phases throughout the day.

As of 11 a.m., about 36,000 customers have been brought back online in parts of Central Maui, South Maui, West Maui and parts of Upcountry.

Around 2:50 a.m. today, approximately 66,500 customers on Maui island – Central Maui, South Maui, West Maui, and Upcountry, Paia and Haiku area and parts of East Maui – experienced a power outage after lightning hit the electrical system across the island, causing damage to electrical equipment, including downed power lines in various areas.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation said Kahului Airport is fully open and operating normally. HDOT’s Public Information Officer Tim Sakahara told Maui Now that there was a brief power outage at the airport, however the backup generators did activate and normal power was restored by 6:30 a.m.

Timeline:

The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch for Maui County on Sunday that was in effect from 6 a.m. Monday to Tuesday afternoon.

Oct. 23: At 8:15 p.m. the National Weather Service in Honolulu extended a Special Marine Warning for Maui County Leeward and Windward waters until 10 p.m.

Oct. 23: At 9:37 p.m. radars indicated a band of heavy showers with embedded thunderstorms shifting eastward over Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi.

Oct. 23: At 9:50 p.m. the National Weather Service in Honolulu issued a Flood Advisory for Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi until 12:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Oct. 23: At 10:17 p.m. a strong thunderstorm was located 7 miles south of Mauna Loa, moving north at 35 mph.

Oct 23: At 10:26 p.m. The NWS said a strong thunderstorm would affect Molokai.

Oct. 23: At 11:56 p.m. the NWS issued a Flash Flood Warning for MOLOKAI in effect until Tuesday, 2:30 a.m. At 11:36 p.m., radar indicated heavy rain falling over Molokai at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour.

Oct. 24: At 12:10 a.m. A Flood Advisory was issued for the island of Maui until 2:45 a.m. At 11:51 p.m. radar indicated heavy rain over parts of Maui. Rain was falling at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour and up to 3 inches in isolated spots. Locations in the advisory included Kahului, Honokohau, Kahakuloa, Haliimaile, Paia, Makawao, Wailuku, Keokea, Wailea, Waihee, Kaanapali and Kula.

At 12:23 a.m. the NWS said a strong thunderstorm will affect Lanai, Maui and Molokai. At 11:53 p.m., a strong thunderstorm was located over Lanai City, or 28 miles west of Kahului, moving north at 30 mph. Locations impacted included Kahului, Kihei, Lahaina, Lanai City, Kahakuloa, Paia, Wailuku, Waihee, Napili-Honokowai, Kapalua, Puunene, Waikapu, Kalaupapa National Park, Kaunakakai, Waiehu, Kawela, Maalaea, Honokohau, Halawa Valley and Kamalo.

At 12:36 a.m. A Flash Flood Warning was issued for Lanai until 3 a.m. At 12:07 a.m., radar indicated heavy rain falling over Lanai. Rain was falling at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour for the past 1 to 2 hours.

At 1:23 a.m. a Flash Flood Warning was issued for the island of Maui until 4:30 a.m. At 1:23 a.m. gages across west Maui continued to show water levels steadily rising. Locations in the advisory included Kapalua, Honokohau, Kahakuloa, Waikapu, Lahaina, Wailuku, Waiehu, Maalaea, Waihee, Kaanapali, and Napili.

At 1:53 a.m. Maui Electric said Kula was experiencing a power outage.

At 2:04 a.m. Maui Electric said the East End of Molokai was experiencing a power outage.

2:30 a.m.: Multiple power lines down on Hana Highway and Hookele interesection. Road closed at Hana Hwy and Airport Access Road.

2:37 a.m. The Flash Flood Warning was cancelled for the island of Molokai

3:14 a.m. the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the island of Maui in effect until 3:15 a.m. At 2:27 a.m., a severe thunderstorm was located 20 miles southwest of Kihei, moving northeast at 30 mph. Radar indicated 60 mph wind gusts. Locations impacted included Kahului, Haliimaile, Paia, Makawao, Wailuku, Keokea, Wailea, Kula, Pukalani, Kihei, Puunene and Pauwela.

3:12 a.m., a severe thunderstorm was located near Kaupo, moving east at 35 mph.

3:42 a.m. the severe thunderstorm warning for Maui was cancelled.

3:52 a.m.: Maui Electric says various areas of Maui are experiencing a power outage.

4:47 a.m.: Flash Flood Warning extended for the island of Maui until 7:30 a.m. At 4:08 a.m., radar indicated heavy rain continues to subside. However, streams across West Maui remained elevated and swollen. It will take a few hours for this to subside. Therefore, the flash flood warning remains in effect for Maui. Locations in the warning included, but not limited to: Kahului, Kapalua, Honokohau, Kahakuloa, Waikapu, Wailuku, Waiehu, Waihee, Kaanapali, Napili-Honokowai, Lahaina and Maalaea.

5:45 a.m.: MECO reports power outages in extensive parts of Maui after lightning strikes across the island. Extensive parts of Maui island – Central Maui, South Maui, West Maui, and Upcountry – are experiencing an outage as crews respond after lightning strikes and extensive damage to the electrical system, including power lines down in various areas.

5:58 a.m.: Kamehameha Schools Maui announces school is cancelled today.

6:15 a.m.: Hana Highway Kahului-bound lanes are open; Paia-bound still closed.

7 a.m.: Montessori Hale O Keiki announced school is cancelled today.

7 a.m.: HIDOE announces Public Schools are OPEN today

7 a.m.: All classes and services at Kaunoa Senior Services are canceled today due to no power at the facility.

9 a.m.: The State of Hawaii Department of Health and Clean Water Branch issued a Brown Water Advisory for the island of Maui, due to heavy rains.

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