Kokomo Road in Haiku is closed between Pu’uomalei Road and Makawao Avenue this weekend. Maui County crews are working on cleanup and road repairs after the latest round of stormy weather.
The road will be closed between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. today and tomorrow.
The quiet still of a chilly Haiku night erupted in flames and sirens when Maui Fire Department crews from Pa’ia, Makawao and Kahului were called to a structure fire at 180 Kahiapo Place.
Upon arrival after the 3:42 a.m. report, fire crews discovered a two-story, single-family residential structure on fire. Fire crews were able to contain the fire to the structure of origin, however the structure was a total loss. A second house on the property suffered some minor damage to its exterior.
There were three occupants and all of them were able to evacuate the house safely. They are being assisted by Red Cross at this time. The cause of the fire has been classified as accidental with fire damages estimated at $300,000. There were no injuries to report.
WAILUKU – The Dept. of Environmental Management, Solid Waste Division, announced that due to a staff shortage, two residential refuse collection routes in the Haiku and Kokomo areas were not picked up today, Friday, January 2, 2015.
Affected areas include:
The missed pickups are expected to be made tomorrow, Saturday, January 3. The Department apologizes for the inconvenience and appreciates the community’s understanding and cooperation.
A powerful first band of showers – downpours to be more specific – is wiping across Maui County at this hour. Click here for the latest radar animation. Already the early winter storm has left much of the east end of Moloka’i in the dark. Maui Electric crews are working to stabilize the situation and return service. (NOTE: Power has since been restored to all customers on Moloka’i)
At 5:13 this afternoon, Maui Fire Department crews were dispatched to Haiku Road between Kauhikoa and West Kuiaha Roads to deal with electrical lines that had been impacted by tree branches in high winds. On arrival they encountered a large tree branch across the road that had burned off a tree by high voltage power lines it contacted. A MECO lineman who just happened to be in the area responded quickly and had de-energized the lines by the time fire crews arrived. Haiku Road was closed for about 40 minutes while the branch was moved.
Motorists and area residents should be aware that MECO will close again when MECO crews deem it safe enough to repair the downed power line.
A great big MAHALO to that MECO lineman for handling what could have easily turned ugly. The other good news is that no one was injured.
Meanwhile a high wind advisory for the Haleakala summit continues. Forecasters say another strong band of showers can be expected – and possibly a third band later.
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Aloha Mr. Mayor,
Q: I was wondering if the well-traveled roads of Haiku are scheduled for repaving anytime soon. Kaupakalua and Kokomo roads are to a point where it is unsafe to drive, the potholes, ruts, bumps and cracks are highly dangerous and are destroying cars of tax-paying residents. Kokomo has not had any major restoration for over 10 years while Hana Highway seems to have an annual repaving whether it needs it or not. Please let the citizens know when we can drive in peace again. Mahalo.
A: I do have an update since we last ran a Q&A about these rural collector roads: The first paving project is expected to commence in less than two months. Work on Kokomo Road, one of the bumpiest, is anticipated to begin in February 2015, with completion by September 2015; this phase runs from the intersection of Kokomo with Makawao Avenue and Kaupakalua Road to Mile Marker 3. The next phase, Kokomo Road and Makawao Avenue, is expected to start in November 2016 and run from Haiku Road to Mile Marker 3 on Kokomo Road, and from Kokomo Road to Piiholo Road on Makawao Avenue. Work on Kaupakalua Road has a tentative start date of mid-2017, and will run from Kokomo Road to West Kuiaha Road.
Q: If the County of Maui is adamant about everybody’s seatbelt use, why does the County allow passengers to ride in the open beds of trucks? Seeing people riding against the tailgate is outrageously dangerous. This is the absolute worst place to sit. Worst of all, most of the passengers I witness are underage.
A: I agree, riding in open beds of pickup trucks is extremely dangerous; however, Hawaii State law allows this practice in certain situations. Hawaii Revised Statute (HRS) §291-14 states that no passenger can ride in the bed of a pickup truck unless (1) there is no seating available in the cab of the vehicle; (2) the side racks of the vehicle are securely attached and the tailboard or tailgate is securely closed; and (3) every passenger in the bed or load-carrying area of the vehicle is seated on the floor and does not attempt to “control unlashed cargo.” This law prohibits children aged 12 years and under from riding in the bed of a pickup truck, except in life-threatening emergencies or if the vehicle is being operated in a parade, caravan or authorized exhibition. Violations are subject to a fine of $72 each for passenger restrictions and $92 for violations for underage children.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: If the renovations of the restrooms at Honokowai Beach Park are completed, why aren’t the bathrooms open already?
A: For one simple but very important reason: the Parks department is still waiting for a back-ordered part for the lift pump, which takes the wastewater from the restrooms and transports it uphill to the sewer line. As we all know, liquids do not “flow” uphill, and this location requires wastewater to be pumped up from the bathrooms to work properly. Parks estimates it will take a few more weeks for the part to arrive, then the restrooms will be opened to the public.
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.
The young man involved in a one-car crash Sunday in Haiku has died. Maui Police say the victim is 26 year-old Zachary Callender of Haiku. He was transported from the West Kuiaha crash scene to Maui Memorial Medical Center after the 4:06 p.m. crash that day. Callender was pronounced dead Tuesday morning at 9:49 p.m.
The black Jeep Wrangler Callender was driving missed a curve on West Kuiaha Road near Kaupakalua Road. The impact with the tree ejected the young man from the car.
The death of Zachary Callender is the 19th traffic fatality on Maui County roads in 2014 – compared with 11 at this time last year.
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