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Flash flood warning cancelled for east Maui

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:51 p.m. HST, Feb 22, 2013

The National Weather Service cancelled a flash flood warning for east Maui after heavy rains stopped by about 3:30 p.m. The island is still cleaning up after floods Thursday closed roads, stranded motorists, threatened homes and washed away an abandoned cottage.

Today's rains were concentrated in East Maui, while Thursday's floods affected Upcountry Maui and areas near Haiku.

Maui remains under a flash flood watch because of the potential for more heavy showers, even thunderstorms, through at least tonight.

Baldwin Park in Paia remained closed this morning because of flooding.

The American Red Cross opened an evacuation center at the Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani Thursday night to asset residents forced from their homes and closed it this morning.

Maui Fire Department spokesman Lee Maniaga said eight homes were evacuated and three vehicles were stranded by floodwaters in the Maliko Gulch area near Haiku on Maui's north shore. 

The residents and car occupants evacuated safely.

An abandoned cottage in nearby Paia at 355 Kaluanui Roadas was washed away by floodwaters, Maniaga said. Floods also threatened a nearby home at 365 Kalanui Road, trapping five residents. Firefighters rescued two residents after floodwaters subsided, but three others decided to stay at the home.

Firefighters also responded to Makawao, where water and debris began flowing over Makawao Avenue, making the bridge impassable.

Crews also assisted homeowners trying to divert flood waters from a home on Kuhina Place in Makawao Ranch Acres and a residence at 2905 Iolani Street in Makawao.

Maniaga said firefighters escorted four motorists stranded in the Kealaloa/ Hanamu Road area near Hana.

Roads closed by flooding on Maui included Kee Road in Makawao between Makawao Avenue and Baldwin Avenue; Brewer Road in Makawao; Makawao Avenue; and Kaupakalua Road in Haiku between West Kuiaha and Kauhikoa roads.

All roads are now open, a county spokesman said this morning.

Maniaga said firefighters began responding to calls at about 3:15 p.m. Thursday and continued responding into the evening.

The National Weather Service recorded just under 9 inches of rain in Upcountry in the 24 hour period ending at 2:45 p.m. Pukalani got 4.4 inches and the Kaupo Gap received 2.1 inches.

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