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Weathering the Storm

Is Kihei ready for the rainy season?

November 10, 2011
Debra Lordan - Editor/General Manager , The Maui Weekly

After a cursory search in the Maui Weekly archives, let's take a moment to sidestroke down South Maui's muddy memory lane:

October 2006: "Flooding due to heavy rains on Monday, Oct. 16, caused road closures, including North Kihei Road near Suda Store."

December 2007: "December's deluge transformed what was once arid gulch along Keonekai Road in Kihei into a rushing river that seeped into the ocean at Kama'ole Beach Park III."

December 2008: "A river of brown muddy water made its way through Kihei, flooding Pi'ikea Avenue and South Kihei Road.

October 2009: "The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently completed a preliminary update of Flood Insurance Rate Maps for Maui County. The revised flood maps will affect flood insurance rates for property owners in South Maui "

December 2010: "In the early morning hours of Sunday, Dec. 26, a thunderstorm left dozens of South Maui residents soaked in chaos."

January 2011: "Another round of stormy weather floods the flatlands. For North Kihei residents, the scene was all too familiar: segments of South Kihei Road were awash in rain puddles, and viscous, muddy water seeped under the doors of many ground floor residences."

Nov. 4, 2011: "The state remains under a flash flood watch because of the lingering threat of heavy rains. Maui appears to be getting the worst of it with more than two inches an hour falling in some areas."

Do you detect a pattern? Do you think we do something more than just buy flood insurance and sop up the mess with our tax dollars after the inevitable occurs?

And given the toll floodwaters have taken on South Maui, what mitigation measures have been taken so Kihei is more prepared to weather the upcoming storm season?

If you are concerned, attend the Kokua Ka'ono'ulu Project, A Mountains to the Sea Approach, meeting on Friday, Nov. 18, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary at 726 S. Kihei Road.

This "flood forum" is presented by the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, which is committed to working together to minimize flooding in North Kihei.

Come to share your mana'o with the community, so we can address this ongoing problem, or we are going to be in deep trouble again this winter.

For more information, visit or email



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