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Kihei residents get flood scare when culvert overflows

  • CHRISTIE WILSON/CWILSON@STARADVERTISER.COMGullies created by rushing runoff from Tropical Storm Flossie on Monday could be seen in the Maui Meadows neighborhood in Kihei today.
    Gullies created by rushing runoff from Tropical Storm Flossie on Monday could be seen in the Maui Meadows neighborhood in Kihei today.

Roads in the Maui Meadows neighborhood in Kihei were dry today but still showed the stain of red mud that washed down the southern slope of Haleakala during Monday night’s flash flooding.

Alfred and Enedina Hidalgo of Fresno, Calif., who were renting an Akala Drive home with friends, watched anxiously as runoff came flowing over a culvert and across the street into their yard.

"All of a sudden it got louder and louder, and I jumped up and went to look out the kitchen window," said Enedina Hidalgo, 63. "All the water was gushing through the yard. It was really scary."

Water began seeping in through the front door and the occupants tried packing the bottom of the door with towels and other materials. A 2-square-foot area inside the door got soaked but that was the extent of the damage, according to Alfred Hidalgo, 61.

A Maui Fire Department crew from Wailea arrived just before 7 p.m. to find a 3-foot-deep stream of water flowing across the road and into the property where the Hidalgos were staying, according to county officials. Hidalgo, who left Maui Tuesday after a week-long stay, said firefighters dug a trench to divert the water from around the house and back into the streambed. The strategy worked and it was all over in 20 to 30 minutes, he said.

County officials said the culvert had become blocked by green waste, allowing the stream to overflow. A county backhoe was brought in to clear the material.

The county is assessing damage from the storm and has posted a damage report form  online at www.mauicounty.gov/civildefense. Individuals and businesses are asked to report storm-related damage to the Maui County Civil Defense Agency by using the form or calling Civil Defense at 270-7285.

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