A glimpse of the devastation in Puna

While most of the major roadways are cleared on the Big Island after Iselle, there are still people in subdivisions as well as homes in more rural areas who still can’t get out.

Fallen albizia trees are blocking major roadways in and out of those subdivisions, including an area known as Vacationland. Residents there tell KHON2 they’re totally cut off.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi says the community is working to get everyone help as soon as it can.

“There’s been damage, of course. The challenge has been opening roads, restoring electricity and restoring communications, so a lot of folks are out there focused on that,” he said. “There’s another piece which is the community and volunteers and local businesses and different agencies out there providing emergency needs to folks as supplies are available.

One resident KHON2 spoke to described what happened the night Iselle hit.

“The wind came in at 8 (p.m.), the water rose another three feet. It was about 6 feet deep under our house, going in and out, taking beams and stairways and people’s houses back and forth under our house. It was pretty hectic,” said resident Sean Sullivan.

Homeowners with damage may be eligible for help from the state and federal government.

Meanwhile, volunteers are on the ground trying to help residents get back on their feet.

“I’ve been on the ground talking to people at their homes, checking on the work crews out there, stopping by at our distribution centers, helping feed our volunteers, going to our distribution point and seeing how that is working,” Kenoi said. “We’ve had the National Guard on the ground, Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and the community, of course, has stepped up to help their families, help their friends and neighbors, so everybody’s cooperation and support working together has been fantastic and we feel very appreciative.”

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is opening up disaster assistance and recovery centers on the Big Island to help those impacted by Iselle. Click here for more information.

kapoho big island storm damage 8-12

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