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Heavy rains impact West Maui traffic

By Staff | Jan 20, 2011

Wind took down this traffic signal at Kaanapali Parkway Wednesday. Photo by Maui Police Department.

WEST MAUI — Last week’s powerful rainstorms impacted West Maui traffic on Wednesday and Thursday.

Police said wind and rain were responsible for a downed traffic signal at Kaanapali Parkway Wednesday. Officers directed traffic until the signal was repaired.

The Maui Planning Commission postponed more than a dozen site inspections in West Maui on Jan. 12 due to the threat of heavy rains.

The commission had lined up 14 different site inspections, which have been rescheduled for Feb. 3.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Maui at 8:24 a.m. Wednesday. Heavy rains began overnight, and Maui Police Department informed the county of a rock slide on the Pali at 5:23 a.m.

Police closed Honoapiilani Highway from Maalaea Harbor to Ukumehame, then extended the closure to Launiupoko Beach Park at 7:26 a.m.

State highway work crews reported that continuing rain and mud coming down the mountain hampered their efforts to clear the rock slide.

To prepare for a potentially long road closure and damage to homes, the American Red Cross opened an emergency shelter at Lahaina Civic Center at 7:45 a.m. No one sought shelter there, and the facility was shut down by 12:30 p.m.

Due to the bad weather, the county closed the Olowalu Transfer Station and suspended the Maui Bus Service to West Maui.

Police officially reopened Honoapiilani Highway in both directions around 10 a.m., and Roberts Hawaii resumed the Lahaina Islander bus service at 10:30 a.m.