Hawaii’s Governor, David Ige, has declared an emergency after the state was assaulted by heavy rains which called massive flooding. Officials stated the situation is unprecedented. Ige declared this emergency on March 9, 2021, and is expected to last until at least Friday, March 12.
The governor tweeted that this “emergency proclamation makes state general funds available.” These funds “can be used quickly and efficiently to help” anyone affected by the storm’s impact. Extreme flash flooding has destroyed or damaged many homes and businesses.
It also caused many public roads to close. These problems led to evacuation orders being issued for fear of landslides and fast-rising waters. Hawaii has not reported any injuries or deaths due to the severe floods.
On March 9, firefighters responded to 20 weather-related calls from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone (HST). A 27-year-old man was rescued from the roof of his truck by emergency crews.
Maui County officials requested everyone who lives near the Kaupakuala Road and Kaupakuala Dam to evacuate. They expected the dam to fail.
Heavy rain caused the Kaupakalua Dam — located in Maui, Hawaii — to overflow. The Kaupakalua Dam holds roughly 68 million gallons of water. Even though the dam overflowed no structural damage was reported.
However, the Kaipakalua Bridge — in Haiku — was heavily damaged by floodwaters. The Peahi Bridge was destroyed by the flooding.
According to the National Weather Service, Hawaii still has flood advisories and watches happening on March 10, 2021. Previously, the agency warned Hawaiians to expect mudslides in steep terrain.
On Tuesday, March 9, Maui County Mayor — Michael Victorino — stated they were going to “making damage assessments.” Victorino further asked his residents to “stay vigilant and be safe.”
Dozens of Maui residents had to be rescued by the fire department due to being trapped by rising waters. Videos and images have been flooding social media since Tuesday. According to a tweet by ABC News, Hawaii has experienced roughly one to two feet of rain in some areas. This just in a 24 hour period.
Written by Sheena Robertson
NBC News: Hawaii governor declares emergency after heavy flooding causes extensive damage; by Wilson Wong
Featured Image Courtesy of Cade Roster’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License