Onlookers watched in awe as a previously-dry rock bed in East Maui, Hawaii rapidly began to fill with rushing water.

Waioko Pond (also known as Venus Pool) is one of the country’s most spectacular natural pools. Surrounded by rugged mountains and a scenic coastline backdrop, it’s no surprise that the pools are fast becoming a visitor hot spot.

Due to being situated at the bottom of a vast mountain range with varying climates, East Maui can collect an unfathomable amount of rain. A Maui guidebook warns potential visitors that it could be raining hundreds of square miles upstream, even if it’s sunny and clear down at the pools.

The Dangers Of Flash Floods

Every year, sightseers and river users alike lose their lives in rapid flash flooding events all over the world. Earlier in 2021, KHON2 News reported the death of a 26-year-old Californian woman who drowned after swimming in the pools of Waioko Pond. She was caught in a sudden flash flood and swept out to the ocean within minutes. She scrambled to cling onto riverside rocks, but the force of the water proved too powerful.

Plan Ahead To Mitigate Risk

The best way of surviving a flash flood is by avoiding it in the first place. Avoid paddling in areas that are prone to flash flooding events, be sure to check the weather in advance of your trip, and always have an escape plan in mind. Additionally, make sure to check flood warnings for the area and park or camp well away from the watershed in question (if in a high-risk flood zone).

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