The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Residents worry about family, friends in hurricane's path

 

August 23, 2018



CLOVIS — As the category 4 storm Hurricane Lane heads toward Hawaii, eastern New Mexico residents with an island connection are left worrying about what will happen in the hours to come.

Ernie Kos, the executive director of the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce, said she is concerned for her mother who lives with caregivers at her home in Oahu.

“I tried to call my mom earlier (Wednesday) morning and everyone was scrambling to get her hurricane ready,” Kos said.

Kos said she already had plans to visit her mother in a couple of weeks but that she wishes she was in Hawaii now so that she had a better idea of what was going on.

“Health-wise we have 24-hour care for her in her home but to be honest I’m wondering if I should see about getting her hospitalized just so she could be safe,” Kos said. “I don’t know what to do. It’s hard to manage your mother from so far away.”

Kos said she’s hoping “our prayers are answered” and that the storm does not have a significant impact.

Meanwhile Kos’ friend Cathy Haynes — formerly of Clovis but now living in Lubbock — has been on vacation with her husband, children and grandchildren in Hawaii since Aug. 5.

Haynes said they tried to get a flight home before the storm hit but were not able to; instead the family is moving to a different hotel that better survived the deadly Hurricane Iniki that hit Hawaii in 1992.

“They seem to have a very solid evacuation plan,” Haynes said of the hotel where they hope to move. “The one here (where they were on Wednesday) is just like ‘stay in your room and close your windows.’”

Wire reports state that residents of Hawaii are rushing to stores to stock up on water, toilet paper and other supplies, which Haynes confirmed — she said she could not even find water available for purchase.

Instead Haynes said her family stocked up on iced tea and has a week’s worth of food in the trunk of their vehicle, just in case.

She said the locals are concerned that they are not prepared for the impending hurricane like what happened with Iniki, but so far people are staying calm.

“It’s still beautiful, it’s still paradise. All’s good in paradise,” Haynes said.

Sandy Bodine, who grew up in Hawaii before moving to Clovis in 2006, said the majority of her family still resides in Honolulu.

Bodine said she spoke to members of her family via Facetime on Wednesday and that while she could see “people in the store running around all frantic,” her family was relaxed.

Bodine said that is typical of native Hawaiians, who believe in the legend of the goddess Pele and her ability to slow storms before reaching the island.

According to The Associated Press on Wednesday, the hurricane was about 305 miles south of Kailua-Kona and moving northwest toward other islands.

Meteorologist Chevy Chevalier in Honolulu said its winds had slowed overnight Wednesday from 160 mph to 155 mph, prompting a downgrade from a Category 5 to a Category 4 hurricane.

He said it may drop to a Category 3 by this afternoon but that would still be a major hurricane.

“We expect it to gradually weaken as it gets closer to the islands,” Chevalier said. “That being said, on our current forecast, as of the afternoon on Thursday, we still have it as a major hurricane.”

With winds anticipated to 130 mph, the hurricane could cause catastrophic damage.

 

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