This past weekend we experienced a crazy rain event on Maui again. Kihei itself lies in the rain shadow of Haleakala. As such we average between 8-11 inches of rain a year. Not much at all. For context, on Friday our rain gauge in South Kihei measured 3 inches. Nuts.
The thing is, there is rain and then there is rain. When it rains hard upcountry, the water doesn’t absorb well and starts running down the mountain, towards Kihei and the ocean. There are gulches that contain the flood water as it rushes towards the ocean. In South Kihei/Wailea the gulches to date do their job pretty well. In North Kihei they have been not as lucky. Whatever you do, don’t walk or drive through running water – your car just may get stuck or worse. Just this weekend a firefighter got caught in rushing water and carried away through a storm drain. Last I heard he is in critical condition.
Where does all that water go?
The storm run-off is definitely not clean or sanitary. At best it is mud water, at worst it also contains pesticides, chemicals, dead animals etc. It runs unfiltered into the ocean, crossing beaches and polluting near shore-water. You’ll see how murky the water becomes at the beach. If ever the water is murky, don’t go into the ocean.
I’m only here for a few days – why should I avoid the ocean?
Here are a few good reasons
- Murky water attracts sharks. They come closer looking for food sources. Don’t be in the water.
- Murky water is polluted. There is an increased risk of infection. Just don’t. Walk the beach instead of going into the water. It’s just not worth it.
Here are a few rainy day ideas of what to do instead.
Are your condos affected?
To date we have been lucky and our Maui Oceanview Condos have not been affected by flooding. However, there are a few condos along Sugar Beach that have repeatedly been flooded out. South Kihei Road at Kalama Park and in North Kihei does flood even with just a little rain. For the sake of residents please avoid those areas when it rains.
How often do these rain events and storm run-offs happen?
Thankfully not that often, lately it’s been once or twice a year. And usually it’s in the winter months – December, January, February.
Stormy weather makes for the most beautiful sunsets
Sig and I went for our weekly walk along the Wailea beach walk. Last night’s sunset after the rain storm was just stunning. We like to park along Ulua Beach, arriving about half hour before sunset. We then walk South in front of the resorts til the Four Seasons and back, catching the afterglow at Ulua Beach just before we head back to the car. You can walk as far as Polo Beach (the Fairmont Kea Lani resort), but the sidewalk gets very narrow just past the Four Seasons, so we usually turn around.
Like that photo? Check out the sunset videos I took at the same location. It was truly magical.