Kahului firefighters arrived at 9:06 a.m. and met with a bystander who happened to witness the fall and directed responders to the victim. The victim had been opihi picking in the area and was climbing along a steep cliff when he fell about 50 feet to the rocks below.
The male victim was lying face down between boulders at the waters edge, but was conscious and breathing when crews found him. The fire department’s Air 1 helicopter airlifted the man to a pasture where he was transferred to waiting medics.
The victim, a 38-year-old Maui man, was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center with critical injuries. The man’s identity and current condition have not been released.
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: I am a property owner on Kaupakalua Road in Haiku. Kaupakalua Road between Kauhikoa and West Kuiaha roads has become almost undriveable after any kind of rainstorm. The road has become very unsafe to drive, with drivers now driving on the opposite side of the road to avoid the potholes. My wife and I have spoken numerous times with the County of Maui road staff at the Makawao office about the situation and about fixing the roads. The staff has been very professional and responsive about filling the potholes after each rainstorm, but they also express their frustration that “filling the potholes doesn’t do much and the road will not survive until it is re-paved in 2018.” My question is: What is the process for either 1) Getting the timeline for re-paving Kaupakalua Road moved up from 2018 to something that aligns with the realistic life of the road in this section, and/or 2) What is the process for getting the sections where the potholes are worst resurfaced until the road can be properly repaved? I appreciate your time and energy on addressing our neighborhood challenge.
A: Our Public Works staff as well as the Mayor’s office, have definitely been hearing about the horrible conditions of this road, and the fact that all the pothole patching our public works crews have been doing recently has been washed away by more recent rains. I was pleased to learn that Public Works will be repaving the really bad sections of Kaupakalua by the end of June, once our County paving equipment is moved out of the Kahakuloa area after the repaving of Kahekili Highway is complete. Repaving these troubled sections will eliminate most of the constant pothole patching that we have been doing on the completely failed roadway sections. The maintenance funds available to our Highways crews will be directed toward the worst areas first. However, due to the existing conditions of the road, repaving will still be a stop-gap measure that will hopefully buy us enough time until the reconstruction project can get underway. The big project to reconstruct Kaupakalua Road will take a few years to iron out all the right-of-way issues, design work and final plan approvals by State DOT according to federal guidelines. Additionally, funding must be approved by moving other projects out a year so this road will get a higher priority due to its rapidly deteriorating condition. The federal process is time-consuming, but Public Works is moving it up the list as quickly as possible. Once completed, the reconstructed roadway (similar to Kokomo Road or Haliimaile Road), is expected to last 25-30 years.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: I saw on the TV news last night that schoolchildren and residents on Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island will be making leis to place on the graves of veterans buried at Punchbowl Cemetery. However, there was no mention of Maui in the news report. Is there a way to participate in remembering our war heroes with leis on Maui?
A: Yes, the County will be hosting the annual “Blossoms for the Brave” community lei-making event here on the front lawn of the County Building this Friday, May 22, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The public is invited to come sew leis, enjoy free entertainment and talk story with friends and neighbors. Every helping hand counts, as we will need to make 2,700 lei to be placed on each veteran’s grave on Memorial Day at the Maui Veterans Cemetery in Makawao. If you have sturdy flowers and/or foliage to share, you can bring by your floral and greenery contributions to the County Building on Friday morning starting at 8:30 a.m. Pre-sewn lei donations are also welcome; finished size should be 16 inches in length. Loose flowers are also needed for the aerial flower drop on Memorial Day; they can be dropped off at the Friday event. Blossoms for the Brave is sponsored by Kaunoa Senior Services, the County of Maui Dept. of Housing & Human Concerns, and my office. Parking in Wailuku town can be tight, so a free shuttle is available between the County Building and the Ichiro “Iron” Maehara Baseball Stadium at War Memorial. The shuttle runs every half hour from 8:30 a.m. with last return shuttle at 1:30 p.m. For more information, call Kaunoa Senior Center at 270-7308.
Q: When will the Kahului Airport Bypass Road be completed? Phase 1 & phase 2?
A: According to the State Department of Transportation, completion of the Airport Access Road, Phase I, is anticipated in July 2015 and Phase II in January 2016.
Want to Ask the Mayor?
Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.
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Residents and motorists in the Haiku area should be aware that there will be two Department of Public Works road projects that will affect area traffic next week.
The first is the Haiku Road Culvert Replacement Project, which will begin on Monday, May 11, at 6 a.m. This project will repair the existing drainage system under the roadway as well as make road improvements and repairs. Because of the nature of the work Haiku Road will be shut down completely although motorists will still have access to Fukushima Store and Haiku Marketplace from Kokomo/Haiku Road.
Then on Saturday, May 16, reconstruction work on Kokomo Road will continue, this latest project located between Lilikoi Road and half a mile down from the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses church. The work will be done in segments and during weekend hours only, beginning on May 16th, from 6 a.m. on Saturdays to 10 p.m. on Sundays.
During these days and times Kokomo Road will be completely closed to traffic. Residents mauka of the construction zone will be able to access their properties through Kokomo Road via Makawao Avenue while residents on the makai side will be allowed access through Haiku Road.
All other traffic will be detoured through Kauhikoa Road for access between Haiku and Makawao. Both the Haiku Road and Kokomo Road projects are expected to last for several months at least. During this time motorists are advised to expect delays and to use caution and to follow all traffic control signs, devices and flag personnel while driving through work zones. Mahalo for your patience and understanding.
HAIKU – At 4:47 p.m. Thursday afternoon, fire crews responded to a brush fire on Honopou Road in Haiku. Emergency dispatchers received multiple calls from area residents of lots of heavy smoke and flames seen.
Paia firefighters arrived at 5:06 p.m. and discovered a field of light grass and ferns burning about 150 feet from a shed structure. With the help of Makawao firefighters and a water tanker out of Kahului, crews managed to contain the fire by 5:33 p.m. and called it extinguished at 6:11 pm. No structures were damaged.
A water tanker out of Wailea and the department’s Air 1 helicopter were cancelled once crews gained control.
A total of ½ acre of pasture land was burned near the top of Honopou Road, near Hana highway. No one witnessed the fire starting. Fire cause was undetermined.
By Jeff King
UPDATE: The National Weather Service has, in fact, extended the Flash Flood Advisory for MAUI. Radar at 9:36 a.m. showed steady heavy rain over West Maui and Kahalawai. The new advisory is in effect until 12:45 p.m. today.
A brief but powerful late season cold front surprised many in Maui County Sunday night into today. Light showers last night gave way to occasional downpours overnight. Flash Flood Warnings were issued at 4 a.m. for northwest Maui as rain fell at rates up to an inch per hour. Around 7 a.m. that warning extended to north shore Maui as a cell “parked” over Haiku, where .35 inches have fallen so far.
Other significant rainfall totals from this front so far have been at Kula (.27 inches), Kaho’olawe (.35 inches) and Pukalani (.25). The largest total from this episode has been the upper Kula gage mauka of Ulupalakua where more than three quarters of an inch of rain has fallen (.78).
Kihei actually received significant amounts from this front – logging .27 inches of rain
The National Weather Service issued a FLOOD ADVISORY for the ISLAND OF MAUI in effect until 9:45 a.m. This advisory replaced the Flash Flood Warning and may be reissued if heavy rain persists. The advisory was allowed to expire at that time.
EFFECTS: At 6:45 a.m. radar showed areas of heavy showers along windward slopes of West Maui and Haleakala, and stream gages were running higher than normal. The showers were nearly stationary.
Other locations in this advisory include but are not limited to: Pauwela, Napili, Kapalua, Kahakuloa, Hookipa Beach Park, Honolua, Honokowai and Honokokau.
PRE, Kula Branch station (CAUTIONARY MEASURES: STAY AWAY FROM STREAMS, DRAINAGE DITCHES AND LOW LYING AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING. RAINFALL AND RUNOFF WILL ALSO CAUSE HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS DUE TO PONDING, REDUCED VISIBILITY AND POOR BREAKING ACTION. DO NOT CROSS FAST FLOWING OR RISING WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE OR ON FOOT. TURN AROUND, DON’T DOWN.
INFORMATION: Maui Civil Defense Agency will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather broadcasts for any updates. NOAA Weather broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.
Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200.
WAILUKU – The County of Maui Dept. of Environmental Management, Solid Waste Division, announced that due to a staff shortage, two residential refuse collection routes in Kula, Haiku and Paia were not picked up today.
All missed pickups are expected to be completed tomorrow, on Wednesday, April 15.
Affected areas in Kula, Haiku and Paia include:
The Solid Waste Division apologizes for this inconvenience and appreciates the community’s understanding and cooperation.
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