Light damage in Kona, major cleanup underway in Waimea

In Kona, there was some rain and wind overnight, but the skies started to clear Friday morning.

Light winds and little rain, even sunshine somehow found its way through the cloudy skies in Kona.

On the east side of the island and Hilo though, it was a different story.

“I kind of feel bad telling them it’s not bad over here,” said Kona resident Brandon Cheney. “I’ve got friends over in Hilo and they had trees falling over and a lot of wind and rain.”

Many tourists visiting Kona, like Chloe Waterman, spent their night in storm shelters.

One Red Cross volunteer told KHON2 that almost all of the people staying in her shelter weren’t from Kona.

But those who stayed said better safe than sorry.

“Even though no storm hit, we were very happy to have a drama-free night and that’s what you want in an event like this, so we were very grateful,” Waterman said.

Now while the island did play a part in breaking up the storm, some people living in Kona have other conclusions.

“I think they say Hualalai is the protector and it’s been years and years since it’s been hit and that’s why this area stays pretty nice,” Cheney said.

While there weren’t heavy rains or wind in Kona, conditions were worse in Waimea. KHON2 found at least one tree that snapped and fell in severe weather.

“We did have some strong bursts of winds at times, then the rain came and quieted down, then it would come back again,” said resident Edward Del Santos.

KHON2 asked a worker near Parker School what cleanup was like Friday. “It’s been pretty hectic because the winds were really strong last night,” he replied. “In fact, all the way until this morning, there was debris all over the place.”

So whether it was the location of Kona, hiding behind a mountain, or something else, those who were in the western part of the island when the hurricane hit say they are just glad there was no damage.

“I think we are really lucky that it wasn’t worse than it was,” Cheney said.

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