Visiting French group makes use of Oahu shelter amidst Flossie

Red Cross Shelter Waialua

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A group of young people had planned to camp at Mokuleia, but Mother Nature had other plans.

“We called the police to make sure what was going on and they told us that there was a tropical storm coming. And that we were in the spot that was dangerous for us to stay. So, we started to make arrangements to move the kids to a safer place,” group leader Mary Rivard said.

Kids, as in 86 French teenagers, ages 16 to 17, were on summer camp in Hawaii with 18 adults in charge of taking care of them.

“We were concerned that kids that we have on charge, when you have your own life in your hands it’s pretty easy. When you have close to 90 lives in your hands, well, you take the decision a bit differently,” group leader Steve Vachon said.

For Red Cross volunteer Claudia Bermudez, she was surprised how large a group she watched over.

“You know it’s really rewarding because coming here, you weren’t sure how many people you were going to get. And then you’re told we’ve got a whole bunch of people coming in. You’re like okay, we’re hunkering down and making sure everything is okay,” Bermudez said.

Tuesday is the last full day for many of the students before heading back to France.

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