Community Solutions for Flooding Issues

Impact Concerns for new construction projects near South Kihei road: 

These are areas of concern considered by many in the neighborhood. Although traffic is a big concern, we are even more concerned by the flooding in the area and what has not been done about it. Although the County has written in the Flood Plan of November 2016 May of these needs, nothing has been done to date. 


  • The map from the November 2016 County Flood Plan shows the massive amounts of streams and swales for water that enters Kihei from the slopes of upcountry.
  • There are several Ahupua’a that bring water from the mountain down to the Kihei lowlands.
  • The impact of rain sheeting from the roofs and parking lots into neighborhoods adds to the problem.
  • The existing drainage system cannot handle the current amount of water as it is now, this is a big concern.
  • Several neighborhoods are at a very low elevation to all the surrounding areas.
  • One of the lowest elevations is in front of 1106 South Kihei Road and is the last section of the street to get cleaned up by the crews following a storm.


  • Developers talk of underground tanks to catch the excess stormwater does not seem adequate at all. Where and when would these tanks be drained once they were full? Water table is so high there, placing these tanks would be difficult. How would corrosion be handled for these tanks sitting in a high-salt area?
  • Years ago when Meadowlands was built they were required to install 2 small catch-basin grates at their South Kihei Road entry but they do not go anywhere. They are easily filled with sand after a storm and need to get emptied by the vacuum trucks.
  • The size of these catch basins is only 2-foot square and 12 inches deep. I know they are required to do so to get a permit and planning for future development. Maybe this is the future development now so let’s plan ahead before any additional zone changes and over-building happens.


  • Build a bridge over the Waipu’ilani Gulch where it goes under South Kihei Road alongside of Village By the Sea Condominiums.
  • This would be similar to the bridge that was made at the Whale Foundation area except this time remove the old bridge from under to give a free flow without the congestion of debris clogging up the flow. (refer to Maui County Drainage Plan November 2016)
  • Follow thru and have the private owners of “Fong’s gulch” clean the debris from the gulch so it does flow freely.
  • See if the grass field included in the Kamalii Alayna Subdivision that Betsill built along this gulch could be cleaned up so the water does not have to flow thru debris.
  • Purchase if you can get permission to buy the lot at the SW corner of South Kihei Road and Waipu’ilani Road.  Design this lot into a retention basin where excess stormwater can soak into the ground or be automatically pumped to the sea.  New drain lines would need to be installed down West Waipu’ilani  Road straight alongside of the restrooms at the park to the ocean.
  • Purchase the seven acres at 1144 South Kihei Road. Make this into a retention basin and pump the basin into the ocean crossing Uluniu Road close to the VFW property there. The neighbor’s concerns in this area are let us fix the infrastructure before we add to the problem. Let’s consider what we are doing and design it properly for our needs.
  • We do not want another new bridge built over the old one, that is still able to catch debris flowing under. And we do not need another bridge like the new one at Suda Store that was built 2.5 feet lower than the existing road, so we do not have to “turn around and not drown”.

Recommendations from Kihei Drainage Master Plan ES-3 November 2016: 

Waipuilani District:

  1. Construct a diversion channel to direct the flow from Upper Waipu’ilani Gulch to Kulanihakoi Gulch mauka of Piilani Highway as mentioned in Kulanihakoi District.
  2.  Improve Waipu’ilani Gulch from Liloa Drive to the ocean and replace the existing culvert at the South Kihei Road crossing. (From: Kihei Drainage Master Plan ES-3 November 2016 Waiakoa Gulch to Kilohana Drive).

Reactivate the Maui Sunset Condominium’s Drainage Pumps:

The intersection at South Kihei Road and Waipuilani Road used to be serviced by a privately-owned stormwater pumping system, Maui Sunset Drainage Sump with Pumps abandoned and later covered up a few years after this photo was taken. These led to Waipuilani Park where they were originally to exit the water into the ocean and that also was covered up after park renovations.

  • The picture shown below are the pumps and Maui Sunset which were privately installed but never turned on from what we hear.
  • Reinstall the drainage grate which was in place by Maui Sunset condominium on the NW corner of South Kihei Road and Waipuilani Road.
  • Reinstall the pumps and well which Maui Sunset had in their parking lot and was visible until they covered them up with landscaping. 
  • Clean out the pipes which were from the grate to the pumps then to Waipu’ilani Park where they drained and rebuild the trench in the park that used to go to the ocean.
  • Please Note: This was brought up with the County of Maui in October 2011 following the December 2010 and January 2011 flood and mud. Nothing was done except covering this all up when the park was renovated. When this was addressed all we heard was they were full of sand.

Who Pays for all of this?  Developers are always required to improve on a neighborhood in areas that may have a bad impact on it. Widening roads, adding street lights, aligning roads and drainage are perfect examples. According to the Planning Director, developers usually pay for these kinds of improvements.  But regardless of who pays, that fact remains that we will need some serious improvements in infrastructure before we can even consider more building projects in these areas. 

Area not suitable for new construction projects: In consideration of the lack of infrastructure and the problems outlined above, we believe that this part of Kihei is the worst location for new construction projects