Get ready, folks! The County of Maui is gearing up for potential storm impacts from post-tropical cyclone Fernanda. Remnant moisture from the cyclone is expected to approach the state starting late Sunday, with the most rainfall happening between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service predicts that the showers will be brief and concentrated mainly in windward and mauka areas. As preparations are underway, emergency response crews are deploying inlet protection devices and the US Coast Guard has installed absorbent booms to prevent sediment runoff and absorb pollutants. However, despite these measures, heavy rain could still lead to dangerous ocean water conditions, especially in shoreline areas between Kāʻanapali and Olowalu Landing. To stay safe, avoid brown water in those locations. Additionally, areas that have been affected by wildfires are at a higher risk of flooding, as the burned vegetation cannot absorb rainfall. So please, be cautious and vigilant if you live in those areas.

County of Maui prepares for potential storm impacts from post-tropical cyclone Fernanda

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Preparing for the Storm

Inlet Protection Devices at Street-level Storm Drain Catch Basins

To prepare for the potential impacts of the storm, emergency response crews have been proactive in deploying inlet protection devices at all street-level storm drain catch basins in the Lahaina disaster area. These devices are designed to prevent debris and sediment from entering the storm drain system, reducing the risk of clogging and flooding in the event of heavy rain. By keeping the storm drain catch basins clear, these measures help to mitigate the impact of the storm and ensure that excess water can flow freely.

Absorbent Booms Installed at Storm Drain Outfalls

In addition to inlet protection devices, absorbent booms have been installed by the US Coast Guard at eight storm drain outfalls that enter the ocean within the impacted areas of Lahaina town. These absorbent booms are designed to capture and contain any pollutants or contaminants that may be present in the stormwater runoff. By placing these booms at the outfalls, we can prevent these pollutants from reaching the marine environment and protect Maui’s natural resources.

Protecting Maui’s Natural Resources

One of the primary concerns during a storm event is the potential impact on Maui’s natural resources. Heavy rainfall can lead to increased sediment runoff, which can harm coral reefs, fish habitats, and other marine life. By implementing inlet protection devices and absorbent booms, we are taking proactive measures to prevent sediment and pollutants from entering the ocean. These measures not only protect the marine environment but also help to maintain the overall health and resilience of Maui’s natural resources.

Brown Water Advisory for Shoreline Areas

As the storm approaches and heavy rains occur, there is a potential for brown water conditions along shoreline areas between Kāʻanapali and Olowalu Landing. Brown water, which is caused by sediment runoff, can contain pollutants and contaminants that may be harmful to human health. As a precautionary measure, a brown water advisory has been issued, advising beachgoers to avoid any brown water and to remain cautious when swimming or engaging in water activities in those areas. It is always best to prioritize safety and follow official advisories to ensure a pleasant and safe experience at the beach.

Flood Risk in Wildfire-Impacted Landscapes

Landscapes that have been severely impacted by wildfires are particularly vulnerable to flooding during periods of heavy rain. The intense heat from the wildfires can destroy vegetation that would typically absorb rainfall, leaving the ground bare and unable to retain water. This increases the risk of flash flooding and mudslides, as the water cannot properly be absorbed into the soil. It is important for residents in these areas to be aware of this increased flood risk and take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and their property.

Avoiding Travel on Flooded Roads

In the Lahaina area, where the wildfires have left landscapes susceptible to flooding, it is crucial for motorists and bicyclists to avoid traveling on flooded roads. The combination of fire damage and heavy rains can make roadways unstable and unsafe. It is always better to err on the side of caution and find alternate routes if there is any risk of encountering flooded roadways. By avoiding travel on flooded roads, individuals can ensure their safety and prevent further damage to the already affected areas.

Vigilance for Residents in Wildfire-Impacted Areas

For residents in areas that have recently been impacted by wildfires, it is important to stay vigilant and be prepared for the potential risks associated with heavy rains and flooding. Pay close attention to weather forecasts and any advisories or warnings from local authorities. Have an emergency plan in place and be prepared to evacuate if necessary. By remaining vigilant and proactive, residents can minimize the potential impact of the storm and keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

Anticipated Rainfall and Timing

Remnant Moisture from Fernanda Approaching the State

The National Weather Service has forecasted that remnant moisture from post-tropical cyclone Fernanda will approach the state starting late Sunday. This remnant moisture is expected to bring significant rainfall to various parts of the state, including Maui County. As the storm system moves closer, it is important to stay informed about the latest updates and heed any warnings or advisories from local authorities.

Highest Rainfall Totals for Maui County

The highest rainfall totals for Maui County are expected to occur between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. While the showers are forecasted to be brief, they are likely to be concentrated over windward and mauka areas. These areas are more prone to receiving heavier amounts of rainfall due to their proximity to the mountains and prevailing wind patterns. It is important for residents in Maui County to be prepared for potentially heavy rain during this time period and take appropriate precautions.

Timing of Heavy Rainfall

Based on the current forecast, heavy rainfall is expected to occur primarily between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. It is important to note that weather patterns can change rapidly, so it is advisable to stay updated on the latest weather reports and forecasts. By being aware of the timing of heavy rainfall, individuals can plan their activities accordingly and minimize their exposure to potentially hazardous weather conditions.

Impact on Marine Environments

Reducing Sediment Runoff and Absorbing Pollutants

One of the key objectives in storm preparedness is to reduce sediment runoff and absorb pollutants before they have a chance to impact marine environments. Sediment runoff can occur during heavy rain events, carrying soil, debris, and other pollutants into the ocean. By deploying inlet protection devices and installing absorbent booms at storm drain outfalls, we can effectively capture and contain these pollutants, preventing them from reaching the marine environment. These measures play a crucial role in protecting the health and integrity of Maui’s marine ecosystems.

Dangerous Ocean Water Quality Conditions

During periods of heavy rainfall and storm events, ocean water quality conditions can become dangerous. Sediment runoff, combined with pollutants and contaminants, can lead to poor water quality, posing risks to human health. It is essential for beachgoers to be aware of these conditions and exercise caution when entering the water. Avoiding areas with brown water and heeding any advisories or warnings from local authorities are important steps in ensuring personal safety and minimizing exposure to potential waterborne hazards.

Caution for Beachgoers

With the anticipated rainfall and potential impacts on ocean water quality, it is crucial for beachgoers to exercise caution and prioritize their safety. Avoid swimming or engaging in water activities in areas with brown water, as these waters may contain harmful pollutants. Be mindful of any warnings or advisories issued by lifeguards or local authorities and adhere to their guidance. By being cautious and aware, beachgoers can enjoy their time at the beach while minimizing potential risks to their health and well-being.

Flood Risks in Wildfire-Impacted Areas

Increased Risk of Flash Flooding or Mudslides

Wildfire-destroyed landscapes are susceptible to increased flood risks during periods of heavy rain. The absence of vegetation due to the wildfires leaves the ground bare and unable to retain water, resulting in an increased risk of flash flooding and mudslides. It is important for residents in these areas to be aware of this heightened risk and take appropriate precautions. Stay informed about weather conditions, have an emergency plan in place, and be prepared to evacuate if necessary. By understanding the potential risks and being proactive, individuals can help ensure their safety and the safety of their community.

Unstable Roadways in the Lahaina Area

The Lahaina area, which has been impacted by wildfires, faces the challenge of unstable roadways during heavy rain events. Fire damage and heavy rains can compromise the stability of roadways, making them unsafe for travel. Residents are strongly advised to avoid traveling on flooded roads and find alternate routes if necessary. It is crucial to prioritize safety and avoid unnecessary risks. By exercising caution and adhering to travel advisories, individuals can protect themselves and prevent additional damage to the infrastructure in the area.

Areas Prone to Flooding after Wildfires

After experiencing wildfires, certain areas become more prone to flooding, including flash flooding. The loss of vegetation and the alteration of the natural landscape due to the wildfires can disrupt the usual drainage patterns, leading to an increased risk of flooding. It is important for residents in these areas to be aware of this potential risk and take appropriate precautions. Clearing debris from drains and gutters, elevating valuable items, and having an emergency plan in place are all important steps to minimize the impact of flooding on homes and properties.

Emergency Response Measures

Deployment of Inlet Protection Devices

To alleviate the potential impact of heavy rain on the storm drain system, emergency response crews have worked diligently to deploy inlet protection devices at all street-level storm drain catch basins in the Lahaina disaster area. These devices act as barriers, preventing debris and sediment from entering the storm drain system and reducing the risk of clogging and flooding. The timely deployment of these devices is crucial in ensuring the efficient flow of stormwater and minimizing the potential damage caused by heavy rain.

Installation of Absorbent Booms

To address the issue of pollutants entering the marine environment through storm drain outfalls, absorbent booms have been installed at eight outfalls by the US Coast Guard. These booms are designed to capture and absorb any pollutants that may be present in the stormwater runoff before they can reach the ocean. The installation of these absorbent booms forms an essential part of the emergency response measures, safeguarding Maui’s marine ecosystems and preserving the natural beauty of the island.

Monitoring Ocean Water Quality

During and after the storm event, it is crucial to monitor ocean water quality conditions to assess any potential risks to public health. By closely monitoring the water quality, authorities can provide timely advisories or warnings to inform beachgoers of any hazards. Regular water testing and analysis ensure that any harmful contaminants or pollutants are identified promptly, allowing for appropriate measures to be taken to protect the health and safety of the public.

Assessing Flood Risks in Wildfire-Impacted Areas

To effectively respond to the potential flood risks in wildfire-impacted areas, it is important to assess the extent of the risks and identify vulnerable areas. By conducting thorough assessments, emergency response teams can better allocate resources and provide targeted assistance to those who need it the most. Assessing flood risks involves analyzing the landscape, evaluating drainage systems, and understanding the potential impact on infrastructure and communities. This information aids in the development of effective strategies and emergency plans to mitigate the impact of flooding and safeguard lives and properties.

Stay Safe and Prepared

Following Safety Guidelines

To ensure personal safety during a storm event, it is essential to follow safety guidelines and best practices. Stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travel if possible. If going outside is necessary, dress appropriately, wear sturdy shoes, and carry necessary supplies such as umbrellas and raincoats. Avoid downed power lines and take precautions to prevent accidents or injuries. By observing safety guidelines, individuals can reduce the risk of harm and stay protected during adverse weather conditions.

Being Informed about the Storm

Stay informed about the latest updates and information regarding the storm. Monitor weather forecasts from reliable sources, check for any warnings or advisories from local authorities, and stay tuned to official channels for updates. By being informed, individuals can make informed decisions, take appropriate precautions, and respond effectively to any evolving situations.

Having an Emergency Kit

It is crucial to have an emergency kit prepared and stocked with essential supplies. This kit should include items such as non-perishable food, water, a first aid kit, flashlights, batteries, a radio, medication, important documents, and other necessities. Having an emergency kit readily available ensures that individuals have the necessary resources to sustain themselves and their families in the event of power outages or other disruptions caused by the storm.

Shelter and Evacuation Information

Emergency Shelter Locations

In the event of an evacuation, it is important to know the locations of emergency shelters. These shelters provide a safe haven for individuals and families who are displaced or require temporary housing during a storm. Stay updated on any announcements or instructions from local authorities regarding shelter openings and availability. Familiarize yourself with the nearest shelter locations and have a plan in place to evacuate if necessary.

Evacuation Routes

Understanding evacuation routes is vital for ensuring a safe and efficient evacuation process. Know the designated evacuation routes in your area and be prepared to follow them if instructed by local authorities. It is important to plan ahead and familiarize yourself with secondary routes as well, in case primary routes become congested or inaccessible. By knowing the evacuation routes and having a plan in place, individuals can evacuate safely, minimizing the risks associated with severe weather conditions.

Emergency Contacts

Save emergency contact numbers and store them in a readily accessible location. These contacts may include local police departments, fire departments, medical facilities, and other relevant emergency services. Keep a physical list of these contacts in addition to saving them in your phone. In case of a power outage or limited access to technology, having a physical copy of emergency contacts ensures that you can reach out for assistance if needed.

Communication and Updates

Official Channels for Information

Rely on official channels for accurate and timely information about the storm. Local government websites, emergency management agencies, and meteorological agencies provide reliable updates on weather conditions, advisories, and warnings. Stay tuned to these official sources and avoid spreading or relying on unverified information. By consulting official channels, individuals can stay well-informed and make informed decisions regarding their safety and well-being.

Social Media Updates

Social media platforms can be useful sources of information and updates during a storm event. Follow verified accounts of local authorities, emergency management agencies, and trusted news sources for reliable updates. However, it is important to exercise caution and verify the information received through social media before taking any action. Rely on official sources and cross-check the information to ensure its accuracy and reliability.

Local News Stations

Local news stations play a crucial role in disseminating important information during a storm event. Stay tuned to local news channels for comprehensive coverage, weather updates, evacuation notices, and other critical information. Local news stations often have experienced meteorologists and reporters who provide accurate and up-to-date information. By relying on local news stations, individuals can access real-time information and make informed decisions based on the latest developments.

Emergency Services and Resources

Contacting Emergency Services

In case of emergencies, it is vital to know how to contact the appropriate emergency services. Save the contact numbers of local police departments, fire departments, and medical facilities. Familiarize yourself with the procedure for contacting emergency services and be prepared to provide necessary information such as your location and the nature of the emergency. By being aware of the emergency services and knowing how to contact them, individuals can quickly receive the assistance they require.

Accessing Community Resources

During and after a storm event, community resources may be available to provide assistance and support. These resources can include organizations that offer shelter, temporary housing, food assistance, and other essential services. Stay informed about the community resources in your area by reaching out to local government offices, community centers, or conducting online research. These resources can play a crucial role in helping individuals and families recover from the storm and rebuild their lives.

Post-Storm Cleanup Assistance

After a storm, cleanup efforts may be necessary to restore affected areas and ensure the safety of the community. Local authorities and government agencies often provide post-storm cleanup assistance, including debris removal, road clearing, and other related services. Stay in touch with local authorities to receive updates on cleanup initiatives and any assistance programs that may be available. By accessing post-storm cleanup assistance, individuals can contribute to the recovery process and help restore normalcy in their communities.

Lessons Learned from Past Storms

Applying Lessons from Previous Storms

Previous storm events can provide valuable lessons and insights for future storm preparedness. Analyzing the impacts of past storms, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing changes based on these lessons can enhance emergency response efforts. By applying lessons learned from previous storms, communities can continually improve their preparedness and response capabilities, ensuring that they are better equipped to face future challenges.

Improvements in Emergency Response

Every storm event presents an opportunity to identify areas for improvement in emergency response. Whether it is through enhanced communication systems, better coordination among response agencies, or streamlined evacuation procedures, each storm event allows authorities to learn and adapt their strategies. By implementing improvements in emergency response based on the experiences of past storms, the community can enhance its resilience and effectively protect lives and property during future storm events.

In conclusion, with the potential impacts of post-tropical cyclone Fernanda approaching Maui County, it is essential for residents to be prepared and stay safe. By taking proactive measures to protect the storm drain system, monitoring water quality, assessing flood risks, and ensuring effective communication, the County of Maui is working diligently to mitigate the potential impact of the storm. As individuals, it is crucial to prioritize safety, stay informed about the storm, and be prepared with essential supplies and emergency plans. By working together and remaining vigilant, we can navigate through this storm event and emerge stronger and better prepared for future challenges.