Firefighter critically hurt after flood sucks him down storm drain, Hawaii officials say

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Heavy rain and flash floods swept a Maui firefighter hundreds of yards down a narrow storm drain, leaving him critically injured, Hawaii officials told news outlets.

The incident took place about 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, as the firefighter helped clear a drain during heavy rain, officials told Hawaii News Now.

Flooding washed the firefighter 800 yards down the 4-foot-wide drain to the ocean, Maui Now reported. Fellow firefighters were able to rescue him from the shoreline.

“There were crews from our county public works there as well, who were able to provide quick information on what the path was for the drain, and where eventually anything flowing through the drain, the storm drain, would end up,” county spokesperson Mahina Martin told Hawaii News Now.

The firefighter was hospitalized in critical condition, Maui Now reported.

The National Weather Service issued flood advisories for Maui during Friday’s storms, KHON reported.

“If you go down to the shore break, let’s say on the north shore and the water is this deep and it’s sweeping across the sand, it will knock you off your feet,” NWS meteorologist Tom Birchard told the station. “So, fresh water running through a stream or through a roadway can do the same thing to you or a car.”

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