Lessons learned from Flossie, counties better prepared for next storm

Big Island road closure

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Tracking Flossie: Photos taken by the wonderful viewers of KHON2

With no major damage and no one seriously hurt, emergency officials say the storm served as a drill, and they’re already looking ahead to be better prepared for the next one.

Maui County was hit with torrential rains and lightning storms. But the mayor says all things held up well because all the departments worked together.

“The coordination with our entire team here with 40 organizations and our emergency shelter at all out areas worked together very well,” Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa said.

Hawaii County Civil Defense says it made an aggressive effort to get the message out to residents to make sure they’re prepared, using every available technology and resource.

“Now we’re using email and text messaging because of the access of technology by our community, we’re trying to always look at new ways to make sure information is always flowing out in every possible format,” Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said.

On Oahu, city workers began clearing streams and drains on Friday to prevent flooding. They worked through the weekend and just a few hours before the storm was supposed to hit, crews were still clearing out Laie stream.

“We we’re working with emergency management personnel to make sure that we addressed it well before Flossie arrived it gave us enough time to make sure we addressed everything properly,” City & County of Honolulu Department of Facilities Maintenance Director & Chief Engineer Ross Sasamura said.

The mayor says all in all, the city was well prepared. In hindsight, he says it might have helped to have more police out on the roads to prevent the rash of accidents Monday evening.

“I think working with our partners at Honolulu Police Department will help dramatically in terms of getting the message out and getting police on the roads to help slow down people,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said.

Mayor Caldwell adds he would work with the private sector to coordinate letting workers off early to make sure not everyone leaves at the same time.

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