State briefs for February 20

Dramatic rescue on Oahu after flash flood

HONOLULU — Honolulu firefighters rescued three people trapped on a highway by fast-moving floodwaters.

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On Sunday, a woman and child inside a minivan and a man inside a pickup truck were surrounded by up to 3 feet of water when firefighters arrived, according to a statement released by the Honolulu Fire Department. A third car also was stalled but wasn’t occupied.

The water was moving about 17 mph, said fire Capt. Kevin Mokulehua.

A bystander drove a small bulldozer into the water to get the firefighters closer to the stranded motorists, who were then given life vests and secured to rescue boards with ropes.

The bulldozer then moved the motorists on rescue boards to safety. No injuries were reported.

The Honolulu Fire Department responded to more than 30 weather-related incidents during the weekend, Mokulehua said.

Yellow tubes aiding in ocean rescues in south Maui

WAILUKU, Maui — The president of a group that installed rescue tube stations along south Maui beaches says while he is happy the tubes are working, he wishes they weren’t necessary.

The tubes have assisted in three rescues since Dec. 29. They were put up by the Rotary Club of Kihei-Wailea with help from former Ocean Safety Battalion Chief Colin Yamamoto in response to increased drownings.

Last year, the county gave the club permission to install tubes every 300 feet.

According to hawaiibeachsafety.com, nine lifeguards cover beaches in south Maui.

Club President John Moore says the tubes meant to supplement areas in south Maui where there are no lifeguards.

So far, 86 tubes have been placed countywide.

Failed missile test off of Kauai costs the US $130 million

HONOLULU — The U.S. Missile Defense Agency says the total cost of a failed missile test off Kauai was $130 million.

A missile failed to intercept an air-dropped intermediate-range target missile during a Jan. 31 demonstration off Kauai. The missile is meant to be deployed to Navy ships, Japan, Romania and Poland to protect against North Korean and Iranian threats.

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According to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, the cost of the Raytheon SM-3 Block IIA missile that was still in development was $36 million. The cost of the intermediate-range target missile was about $40 million.

The agency says it also spent money on Pacific Missile Range Facility use, several radars and sensors and about 350 personnel.

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