Chicago Area Nurse, Working in Hawaii, Swept Away by Rising Waters from the Wailuku River While Hiking Near Hilo

Kelly Mrowinski was swept away by rising waters of the Wailuku River from Pi‘ihonua Falls during a flash flood in Hilo on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018., CBS 2’s. Roseanne Tellez reports.

The Hawai‘i Fire Department (HFD) responded about 4 PM Friday January 26, 2018 to a report of a female hiker swept away by rising water from a flash flood from a nearby thunderstorm at the Wailuku River near the Pi‘ihonua Falls.

Hawai‘i firefighters learned that a man hiked up above the waterfall with Kelly Mrowinski when both were swept downstream by quickly rising waters. The man was able to make it to the riverbank, but lost contact with Mrowinski.

Kelly Mrowinski, in her mid-20s, is a graduate of Schaumburg High School and the University of Illinois, and was working in Hawaii as a traveling nurse from Chicago.

The fire department extended the search for Kelly Mrowinski at the request of her family. According to HFD Captain Brent Matsuda, the search protocol involves a five day search operation, and was supposed to end yesterday; however, it will continue until at least tomorrow, unless she is found sooner.

The search operation involves scuba diving in the pond and searches down the river.

Captain Matsuda added that the woman’s mother arrived after flying to Hawaii Sunday morning, and numerous friends have been arriving to help support the mother.

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