Kulanihakoi Gulch Flooding

Kulanihakoi Gulch in North Kihei is a vital mauka-to-makai gulch that carries water from the watershed’s highlands down to the Kihei floodplain, where it eventually meets the sea. In between there are some flood-prone areas on the flood plain as well as some permanent wetland springs nearer the shoreline. The entire system acts like a reservoir and filter for floodwaters mitigating the effects of flooding and keeping a large amount of sediment out of the ocean. This video shows a flooding event and the extent to which this gulch can become flooded.

Video by Peter Coombs: Rain water from up-country floods the Kalepolepo Gulch and Kaonoulu Road in North Kihei Maui.

Video by Paul Hugel: Kulanihakoi Gulch flash flood in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii dumped onto S. Kihei Road and covered the streets in knee-deep water.

Newspaper articles and video from the 2007 rain event show flood depths of 2-4 feet over South Kihei Road.  A review of rainfall from this event and from other recent reported floods (12/20/2017, 3/7/2017, and 4/9/2018) indicate that highly variable rainfall distribution within the watershed may result in minor to severe flooding, primarily along South Kihei Road.