Former Hawaii resident in Florida: ‘Everything is shut down right now’


Former Hawaii residents now living in Florida are among those in Hurricane Matthew’s path.

On Thursday, we spoke with Mark Kaleiwahea, who used to live in Ewa Beach.

Kaleiwahea lives along the coast in Rockledge, Florida, about an hour away from Orlando. We asked what the city was like in the midst of storm preparations.

“Everything is shut down right now, at least in the town I live in. All the grocery stores and everything is boarded up,” said Kaleiwahea.

Kaleiwahea said gas stations have sold out. Even food and bottled water are gone.

“On Tuesday, when they started making the predictions that it’s going to hit us, early in the morning Sam’s (Club), Walmart, everything was gone. Like no water, no bread, and everything like that,” said Kaleiwahea.

Here on Oahu, at Honolulu International Airport, vacationers from Florida are hitting roadblocks.

“All our flights were on red, like they told us we couldn’t go until Sunday,” said Hannah Holguin, who is visiting from Miami.

We talked to folks trying to get to Florida, and they tell us right now, they’re just trying to get as close to home as possible.

“Right now to LAX, but if not, we are gong to try to fly to Dallas so that we could be closer to Florida to see if we can get the straight flight to Miami, home sweet home,” said Fendy Herard of Miami.

“Even the states around Florida are really hard to get to, like all of them are being flagged like they are full or they are not flying at all,” said Holguin.

They’re in a hurry to get home and help family.

“I’m trying to make sure I go back home to my mom to make sure she’s okay since she by herself. Hopefully she’s alright,” said Herard.

“My sister, she lives in Miami Beach and we are two blocks away from the beach, so I’m kind of worried for her and my animals as well,” said Holguin. “We don’t know how severe this is going to be.”

But as they painstakingly wait for the next available flight, “all we can do right now is pray, honestly pray that everything is okay,” said Tabitha Bills, friend of Holguin.

Nationwide, nearly 3,800 flights had been canceled by Thursday afternoon through Saturday.

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