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

Hurricane leaves locals unscathed


August 25, 2018

While Hawaii’s Big Island has experienced flooding due to the torrential rains from Hurricane Lane, those with Clovis-area connections who are on the ground in the Aloha State have remained relatively unscathed.

Cathy Haynes, formerly of Clovis and now living in Lubbock, is on vacation with her family in Kaui. She said so far the storm has been “pretty uneventful.”

“You read these weather reports and watch the news and they predict all these high winds and the highest wind we’ve seen is 15 or 20 miles per hour,” Haynes said on Friday, later adding, “it’s cloudy but (Thursday) the sun was shining at times and just beautiful.”

Haynes said her family members had left their hotel at Poipu Beach for a safer alternative the other day, but now they feel comfortable enough to head back to the beach to hopefully see some sea turtles and monk seals before, fingers crossed, hopping on a flight to Phoenix tonight.

Sandy Bodine, who grew up in Hawaii and now lives in Clovis, said her family who still lives in Honolulu has seen its share of dark clouds but nowhere near the 35 inches of rain that fell on the Big Island in 48 hours, according to The Associated Press.

“Where my mom’s at, there’s no rain, just a little breezier than usual,” Bodine said.

Ernie Kos, executive director for the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce, said where her mom lives in Kapolei, the majority of schools, businesses and restaurants are closed and grocery store shelves are relatively bare, but the storm has not been as intense as expected.

“I’m relieved that it hasn’t been as bad as it could have been so far,” Kos said.

Elsewhere in Hawaii, residents have not been so lucky.

According to the AP, the city of Hilo, population 43,000, was flooded with waist-high water. The National Guard and firefighters rescued six people and a dog from a flooded home. Five tourists from California were rescued from another home after a nearby gulch overflowed and flooded the house on the Big Island.

“There’s so much rain, the drainage is all saturated,” said Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe. “We’re just letting nature take its course, getting water down to the ocean and responding to any rescues.”

The Category 2 storm was expected to turn west today before reaching the islands and skirting Oahu — the state’s most populated island. Even without making a direct hit, the system threatened to bring a huge storm surge, high wind and heavy rain, forecasters said.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty in this forecast,” warned Federal Emergency Management Administrator Brock Long. “We hope all citizens are heeding the warning that local officials are putting out.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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