Maui Flooding Videos Show 'Life Threatening' Conditions in Hawaii As Homes Evacuated

Evacuation orders were in place for residents downstream of the Kaupakalua Dam in Haiku, Hawaii, on Tuesday after extreme rain led to its cresting.

It came after the community on the island of Maui was urged to stay indoors and seek high ground as the county's Emergency Management Agency (ESA) warned residents about incoming "life threatening" flash flooding until late Tuesday night.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Honolulu said rain was falling at a rate of one to two inches per hour and streams in the region were on the rise.

A suspected breach of the Kaupakalua Dam was reported shortly after 3 p.m. HST on Monday and thousands of residents in the local area were placed under alert about "imminent" danger. Evacuation shelters were available at Paia, Makawao and Hana.

Officials later determined there was "no structural damage," however the threat from ongoing heavy rainfall—and potential landslides—was still very real.

According to Hawaii News Now, about 7,000 people live in the area. Overflowing of the dam appeared to have ceased on Monday evening, but was being monitored.

Hana Highway reopened Monday night after flooding closed the road between Peahi Road and Keanae, but the threat of "debris and possible landslides" persisted according to officials.

In a press conference on Monday, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino urged residents in the region to shelter in place as conditions remained "very dangerous."

Victorino said at the time: "Right now the Kaupakalua Dam is overflowing and we are very afraid that the dam may breach and cause flooding in that area.

"Many of our roads... and many of our streams and rivers are now at high capacity and flowing extremely dangerously so if you see high water do not try to cross... find the highest place on your property or your home to protect you and your family."

Victorino said roughly half dozen homes had been left "heavily damaged or destroyed."

Maui Fire Department said it received over a dozen calls for help from residents trapped inside their homes because of rising flood waters on Monday.

Images and videos from the scene have been shared to social media over the past day as local residents struggled to protect their homes and avoid rushing water.

Tom George, TV anchor and reporter with KITV4, tweeted clips showing some disruption caused. One video, from a viewer identified as Danielle Kiersz, showed homeowners' reactions as overflowing water had reached the doors of their residence in Haiku.

“Holy Moly! So gnarly” — Flooding on Maui reaching homes in Haiku (video from ⁦@KITV4⁩ viewer Danielle Kiersz) #Hawaii #HIWX #Flood pic.twitter.com/yxtC6euZUr

— Tom George (@TheTomGeorge) March 9, 2021

Additional footage showed a shed being washed away in Haiku (from Angelina Ribet) and massive flooding on the Hana Highway near Haiku (from Carlos Rosaga).

Evacuations underway on Maui — Flooding on Hana Highway right now near Haiku — Kaupakalua Dam could break at any time with thousands in the impact zone (video: Carlos Rosaga) @KITV4 #Hawaii #HIWX #Flooding pic.twitter.com/jLmcUM1NKO

— Tom George (@TheTomGeorge) March 9, 2021

Happening now: Flooding on Maui at West Kuiaha stream near Haiku — evacuations underway (courtesy: Deanna Kiersz) @KITV4 #Hawaii #HIWX #Flooding pic.twitter.com/AZP5KBFmpe

— Tom George (@TheTomGeorge) March 9, 2021

Flooding on Maui leading to evacuations — shed getting washed away in Haiku #Hawaii #HIWX #Flood (video: Angelina Ribet) @KITV4 pic.twitter.com/U60nDDbJ4x

— Tom George (@TheTomGeorge) March 9, 2021

Lauren Day, TV anchor and reporter for KHONnews, tweeted a clip obtained from local Kathleen Fukuoka that showed "extensive flooding" in her neighborhood.

Just landed on Maui. A resident in Haiku sent me this video. She said there is extensive flooding in her neighborhood. @KHONnews

VIDEO COURTESY: Kathleen Fukuoka pic.twitter.com/mWHVxWxps9

— Lauren Day (@LaurenDayNews) March 9, 2021

Tom Conway, a Maui-based musician, shared a video of the heavy rain and said his road home was closed. "Well, looks like I'm not gonna be driving through that," he said.

Both roads home closed! Standing in the Maui rain talkin’ with honey farmer Paul and other friendly neighbors. 🌧🙌🍀🙏🏼#maui #haiku #flooding #neighbors #rain #hawaii pic.twitter.com/DIi3sYsg4D

— Tom Conway (@mauitomcat) March 9, 2021

Another clip shared by user Jennifer Wong, filmed by resident Carlos Garcia, showed the Kaupakalua Road in Haiku "completely flooded" by fast-moving waters.

#NEW: Video shows Kaupakalua Road in Haiku completely flooded. @CountyofMaui is asking people to stay away from the life-threatening, flash flooding conditions. Flash Flood Warning up for parts of Maui until 8:45 p.m. (Video: Carlos Garcia) pic.twitter.com/MKjgn4tdS5

— Jennifer Wong (@jennmwong) March 9, 2021

As of Tuesday, officials said shelters remained opened at Paia Community Center, 252 Hana Highway, Paia, and the Hana High School, at 4111 Hana Highway in Hana.

The ESA said: "The Hawaiian Islands are under a flash flood watch as deep moisture is expected to linger over the state through at least Tuesday. The potential remains for persistent heavy rains and more flash flooding. All parks on the island of Maui are closed due to heavy rain and flooding and will remained closed until further notice."

Road to Hana stock photo
A stock photo shows Hana Highway on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Hana Highway reopened on Monday after flooding closed the roadway from Peahi Road to Keanae in Maui. iStock