By Ryan Piros, Asst. Communications Director
WAILUKU – Heavy rains have made an already-busy Christmas shopping day a bit more complicated for residents out on the road. Storm waters have flooded several main intersections in Kahului and have affected the Maui Bus operations out of Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center.
Maui County Public Works employees are also very busy trying to prevent flooding issues by clearing storm drains and drainage canals. So far no roads have been closed, but motorists are urged to exercise caution.
“It’s probably too much to hope that people will stay home when holiday shopping is in full swing right now, but please be careful when driving if you have to be out there,” said Managing Director Keith Regan. “Try to avoid flooded intersections and take alternate routes if you can.”
A flash flood watch continues for Maui County until 6 p.m. Christmas Eve (Wednesday). The National Weather Service warns that heavy rains and thunderstorms will maintain the threat of flash flooding state-wide and that excessive run-off may result in rock and mudslides in steep terrain. Fast-moving water may also create life-threatening situations.
Those planning on catching the Maui Bus are asked to find alternate means of transportation until the high water issues are resolved. Bus drivers are avoiding the Queen Kaahumanu Center and are driving on to their next stops when they can, but some buses are unable to leave the shopping center because of the flooding.
Maui County Civil Defense is monitoring the weather situation overnight. Additionally, Wailuku residents are advised that the siren that went off at 1 p.m. today was a malfunction.