Heavy flooding on the Hawaiian island of Maui carried a firefighter down a manhole and dragged him thousands of feet.
(Photo: Image by Kyle Gransaul from Pixabay)
A very unfortunate incident
The man was attempting to clean out a 4-foot-wide manhole in Kihei on Friday when it was vacuumed. The sewer was then used to pull it 800 meters until it reached the sea.
According to Mahina Martin, Maui County Director of Communications and Public Affairs, “There were also crews from our county public works who could quickly provide information as to what the path for the drain was and eventually where the gully would end up. “
Because of this, our company’s firefighters and other responders were able to quickly reach the scene, locate the missing firefighter, and rescue him while he called for immediate medical attention.
When the firefighter was rescued from the other end of the drain, he was not breathing. He was revived pending resuscitation, after which he was transferred to Maui Memorial Medical Center.
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water from a flood can be quite dangerous. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 6 inches of rushing water is enough to knock you off your feet.
National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Birchard warned local TV station KHON that the water is so deep and rushes across the sand when you go to the shore break, say on the North Shore; it will blow your mind. Therefore, you or a car could be damaged in the same way by fresh water flowing through a creek or road.
Flash flooding is the leading cause of weather-related death in the United States, averaging about 90 deaths each year. In 2021 alone, 146 people were killed by floods across the country.
Due to recent heavy rains — up to 13 inches fell on some areas of the island — Maui has experienced significant flooding. Due to its low elevation and location along the Maui coast, Kihei, where the firefighter was dragged down the drain, is particularly prone to flooding.
Flash floods are likely to remain high More rain is expected in the coming days.
The National Weather Service issued a flood warning and said there was “a risk of significant rain tonight through Monday”. “Several parts of Maui County are already experiencing flooding, and any additional rainfall will cause low-lying regions to be rapidly inundated.”
The condition of the firefighter is critical, he is still in the hospital.
We are focused on supporting the firefighter’s family and ask our community to pray with us for his recovery, Martin said in a statement. “Fire Chief Brad Ventura and Mayor Richard Bissen Jr. immediately went to the hospital’s emergency room this afternoon to assist firefighters and family members present,” Martin said in the statement.
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