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County Begins Damage Assessments, Recovery in Wake of Winter Storm

PC: MFD

With a powerful winter storm passing north of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui County began assessing damage and recovery operations on Monday morning, Mayor Michael Victorino announced.

“I ask all of our residents and visitors to remain cautious and vigilant, especially of any downed power lines that may still be energized and very dangerous,” Mayor Victorino said. “Debris remains on roadways in numerous areas, so motorists need to exercise extreme caution as well. We pray this storm has passed, but we remain cautious of high surf on north- and east-facing shores this week.”

Maui County residents and businesses are asked to report any storm-related damage by calling the Maui Emergency Management Agency at 270-7285 or by reporting online by going to Mauicounty.gov.

As of nearly 9 a.m. today, all Maui County roads were open except for Olinda and Piiholo roads, and Haliimaile Road near Baldwin Avenue because of downed power lines and trees, Maui police said. Crews were responding to clear the lines and trees.

Kula and Olinda residents are being asked to conserve water because the county Department of Water Supply doesn’t have power at its Piiholo Water Treatment Plant and can’t pump water up to residents at higher elevations. All other residents should conserve water as well.

All public schools are open, Department of Education officials said.

State Department of Public Health officials warned people to stay out of brown water in the ocean or on land because of the risk of contamination and infection. Also, refrigerated food that may have spoiled because of a power outage of four hours or longer should be discarded, officials advised.

The Waiehu Municipal Golf Course was open Monday morning, according to acting Department of Parks and Recreation Director Karla Peters. Also, all West and South Maui beach parks have reopened, she said.

However, Baldwin, Hookipa and Lower Paia beach parks remained closed Monday because of flooding, she said. Flooding closed all ball fields, she added.

Salvage operations were ongoing for a half-dozen boats that washed ashore in West and South Maui, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. There were no reports of pollution from spilled fuel.

All Maui Bus routes were up and running this morning, and the Lanai ferry was operational, officials said. Bus riders can download the Maui Bus app for the latest information and bus tracking. The app is available at www.mauibus.org or at the Apple store or Google Play site for Android phone users.

All traffic signals were reported to be operational.

At 6:34 a.m. Monday, there was a report of three school buses stranded between downed utility lines on Kaupakalua Road in Haiku. However, a Maui Electric Co. crew responded quickly and cleared the lines, officials reported.

Kihei, Haiku and Makawao residential recycling centers were closed over the weekend because of high winds, but they were back up and running Monday.

“I want to thank all of the first responders, emergency repair crews, our partners and everyone for their diligence and dedication in responding to this severe winter storm,” Mayor Victorino concluded.

Residents and visitors can stay up to date with the latest information by signing up for Maui Emergency Management Agency’s alert program called Maka’ala. To register and learn more information about emergency preparedness, visit mauicounty.gov/emergency.

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