Hawaii dam in danger of failing, evacuations arranged

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A dam on the Hawaiian island of Maui is at risk of failure on Monday, according to the state emergency management agency.

Evacuations have been ordered for everyone downstream of Kaupakalua Dam in Haiku after heavy rains hit the dam crest, the agency said.

“The dam’s failure will result in life-threatening flooding and significant property damage in the downstream areas,” said Honolulu weather officials in a statement.

Maui Mayor Mike Victorino found about half a dozen homes badly damaged or destroyed as a result of the flooding, according to Hawaii News Now.

“This is a real flood situation that we have not seen in a long time,” said Victorino on Monday. “Some residents have told me this is the worst they have seen in over 25 years.”

Evacuation shelters have opened at the Paia Community Center and Hana High School, Governor David Ige tweeted. Officials estimate that about 7,000 people live in the region.

“Heavy rain continues to pose a potential threat to the dam and the state and county are working together to monitor the situation,” Ige wrote. “Please keep staying out of the area until the danger is over.”

The agency said that more information will be provided as it becomes available.

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