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16 people, stranded by floodwaters, rescued on Maui

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The Maui Fire Department rescued 14 tourists and two Lahaina residents stranded Tuesday afternoon by swollen stream waters in East Maui. 

Some had minor scrapes but all declined medical attention. 

Six people on the Commando Trail, in the Kailua area, called for help at 2:52 p.m. after they were stranded by flood waters. 

As crews headed to the trail, they learned of another group of hikers trapped by swollen stream waters on the Bamboo Forest Trail, about a quarter-mile west of the Commando Trail hike off of Hana Highway. 

At 3:22 p.m., Paia firefighters arrived at the Commando trailhead and met with two hikers who told them six other people were trapped on the other side of the stream. Communicating by  text message, rescuers learned that the six were on high ground and safe. Firefighters told them to shelter-in-place while the department’s Air 1 helicopter searched for the group stranded on the Bamboo Forest Trail. 

The helicopter located 10 people and a dog from above the second pond on Bamboo Trail. They were airlifted to a pasture near the trailhead off of Hana Highway.  

Air 1 then rescued the remaining six hikers from above the second pond, beyond the end of Commando Trail. All 16 hikers and the dog were airlifted to safety by 4:30 p.m. 

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