By Jeff King
Maui Fire and rescue crews as well as Police and paramedics have been going non-stop for days and it doesn’t appear to be getting any easier any time soon.
The brushfire that started on Friday afternoon above the Kaanapali Resort area was deemed under control Sunday, with 100 percent containment and no active fire. It was not called extinguished because there were still smoldering areas far enough within the “Black”, that it is of low concern. That designation came Monday.
The final estimate is that 350 acres were scorched. Cause of the fire could not be determined, and no damages or injuries were reported.
Sunday morning around 9 a.m., Police responded to M’aalaea Harbor to meet with Medics and the Coast Guard for an unresponsive adult male. A vessel, The Odyssey, had taken the victim and other tour group members to the Molokini Crater for a day of snorkeling. The victim was found face down in the water and was taken back on board and headed towards shore.
Coast Guard and Medics met with the vessel and conducted Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on the victim, however, despite life-saving efforts the victim was pronounced dead. The victim is identified as 58 year-old Jonathan Owens from Louisville, KY.
Cause of death has not been determined pending autopsy results, though the apparent cause is very likely drowning.
Coast Guard crews were also involved in two other incidents Sunday across the state. A several hundred mile grid search was conducted after a green kayak was found adrift about a mile north of Lumahai Beach on Kaua’i. After 24 hours the search was suspended because no tour companies had reported any missing gear – and no missing persons reports were filed with Kaua’i Police. Earlier Sunday, Coast Guard crews responded to a garbled VHF radio signal – but were able to triangulate to locate a 20 year-old man standing on his overturned small boat near Pearl Harbor.
And then came Monday! Wet and wild Monday. Rainfall amounts of nearly four inches were recorded at Kaupo Gap. At 5 p.m. Pi’ilani Highway was closed at Mile Marker 29 because mud and very fast moving water sloshed across the road.
MauiWatch posted an aerial image from about the Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary and Menehune Shores showing the buildup of brown water that will settle on the reef there. Rain gtotals were scant on Kaho’olawe with just .10 of an inch – while Lana’i received .67 inches of rain in a two-hour period. Flash Flood advisories became warnings as they moved across the state from east to west. The final warning for Maui was lifted just before 6 p.m. Monday.
Mountain View on the Big Island received more than four inches of rain and the O’ahu Forest Preserve was drenched with just under five inches of rain.
Maui Weather Guru Glenn James cites a very juicy low pressure trough that is pulling copious amounts of rain from the deeper tropics. He says today could be a repeat of yesterday.
I wouldn’t bet against him.
Downpours stranded traffic on both sides of Hana Highway for a time when the road was closed by past moving water at Ulanaio Road around 8 p.m. As of 7 a.m. today, both sections of road remain closed – though no washouts have been reported.
The National Service has just issued a Flash Flood Watch for Maui County effective from now until 6 a.m., Wednesday.
Maui TV News will keep you up to date on any and all weather-related developments including watches and advisories.
- Latest animated regional weather radar
- The “next possible storm.” If it gains sufficient strength, it will be named Iune
- NexSat color visible/infrared animation of our portion of the Central Pacific