Tropical Storm Kilo may be veering its path away from Hawaii but that doesn’t save Maui from its aftermath: lots and lots of impracticalities. A press release issued earlier today by the County of Maui Public Information Office listed today’s road closures:
• Piilani Highway (31) MP 38 – 25 (Kipahulu/Kaupo area): The road is closed and impassable. There are numerous landslides and streams flowing over the road.
• Ulaino Road: The road is closed. Roadway has washed out at Mahele Farms and is impassable to vehicles.
• Waikoloa Road: The road is closed. Waikoloa stream is running steadily.
• Kipahulu to Ulapalakua Road remains closed.
Luckily the above roads seem to run on the remote side of the island, saving you from having to leave the house an extra ten minutes early to arrive at your destination. Despite the minimal road closures the County advises to keep off the wheel as much as possible, so you can tell your boss that your leave from work is a measure of personal safety. Of course, weather excuses only work for high school students so heed the County’s warning to “exercise extreme caution when driving.”
There’s always the option of the Maui Bus System, but that too faces inefficiencies at the moment. A fallen tree on the intersection of Puunene and Dairy Road hindered buses on fixed routes such as the Kahului Loop and Kihei Islander to run on time.
Even elderly people in Hana can’t rely on their own bus since the Human Services Transportation Program got cancelled today.
Keikis may be the only ones celebrating the stormy weather since Hana and Kilohana Schools are closed today. Adults are adults so they have to cancel any plans of fun they made. Waiehu Golf Course, Iao Valley State Park, Makena Beach Park, Kula and Makawao State Forest Reserves and Waihou Springs are closed for the day because of flash flooding hazards. Hits from the storm have also caused the closures of the Summit and Kipahulu Districts until further notice.
There’s two bits of good news. One, Hana Highway up to Twin Falls and Hana Ranch are open. The Maui Police Department also detailed in its 11am report of “small rocks and other debris on the roadway near Kipahului and Honomanu.” Secondly, there’s an even better way to keep up-to date with emergencies in the area besides the annoying popups on your iPhone screen.
“Residents should take this opportunity to sign up for the County’s new emergency alert system, ‘Maka‘ala,’” said Anna Foust, Maui County’s Emergency Management Officer. “This free service allows participants to customize how they receive alerts, for which location(s) and for which types of emergencies. It’s an excellent tool that helps us notify the public with accurate, up-to-date information.”
‘Maka‘ala, which runs on the new Everbridge platform, is the new way to go if you were subscribed to CivicPlus alerts. You can register online at Mauicounty.gov (bottom left column) or via phone at 808-270-7285.
Photo of lightning from Tropical Storm Kilo on Maui: Sean M. Hower