Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hurricane Iselle Hawaii 2014

I thought today, instead of posting old family pictures, I would put up a few pictures of Hurricane Iselle, which swept through our neighborhood, a few days ago. We were fortunate in our location, and did not suffer the worst ravages of the storm, as our near neighbors did. We lost about a dozen tree's, two right next to the house, but the Lord was with us, and his angels laid those two, right along side the house, and we were spared.
I would have liked to have filmed the storm, but it started at dark, and raged on through the night, sounding much like a steam engine, at full throttle. The sound of it screaming about the eave's, and the smashing and crashing of our neighbors roofing tin, could be heard, and it was very unnerving, because in the dark of the night, you could not see what was happening.
In the morning, about 4:30 a.m. I got up, and went to see how bad the damage was. I looked out my kitchen window, and there lying in a great heap, were two of our largest tree's. It gave me the shivers believe me, to see how close we had come, to having our roof caved in. I sent up a prayer of thanks to God, and then called, to have Gregg come take a look. To say we were astounded, is putting it mildly.

It is hard to tell from this picture, but those tree's once stood 35 to 40 feet tall, and were lovely places for the birds to sit and sing. The two smaller tree's that are left, had all of their branches stripped off, far up their trunks, so that our view now, is of two trunks, instead of lovely bushy tree's. Sadly, for future safety of the house, we will have to remove them as well.

As you can see, we lost tree's all over the place. This one fell right down the fence, mangling it beyond repair.
In the background you can see our friends arriving to check on us, to make sure we are okay. Gregg is surveying the damage, and directing one of our friends, who drove his backhoe. There were a good five trucks, full of these guys. They had chainsaws and axes, and the backhoe, with them. They had been out since daylight, cutting tree's and clearing streets. It was about 9:30 a.m. when they got to our house, and they had cut about a hundred tree's they said, and managed to clear 6 streets. They were in high spirits, full of smiles, because no one, so far as they knew, had been injured, and tho property damage was extensive, no one had been killed.

This is a large tree, in a near neighbors yard, just up the street.

We went out that evening, to look around at our neighborhood, and there were many tree's down, and snapped power poles, like this one.

The very next day we went out to see more of the damage in our neighborhood. This is our Hawaiian Electric Company, {Helco}, at work. They were lifting huge bundled power lines, and communication cables, back into place, and putting up temporary poles.

This was on Paradise Street, not far from us, and this type of scene went on for miles.

Poles were splintered and snapped off like toothpicks.
With many transformers, and miles of lines, on the ground
Whole forests of Albizia, a giant form of Mimosa, that grows extensively in the area, now lay flattened like so much grass in a field. It is hard to picture, tree's so enormous, being blown over like that.

We passed numerous National Guardsmen, who had been called out, to assist in the cleanup, and to check on people. Their trucks were full to overflowing, with brush and branches.

This group had a bulldozer with them, and were headed to another blocked off road.
I do not know if you can see her clearly, but there is a lady walking along the right hand side of the road, near the piled up logs. This will give you some idea, as to the size of the Albizia tree's. This was one of the few groups of these tree's, we saw, that were still standing. As you can see, they have cut up one of them, that had fallen across the road.

Here is another view near our neighborhood. This is one of the streets, cleared by our friends, and their crew. This was a sight repeated, everywhere we went, to a greater or lesser degree, at the storms caprices. For the sake of privacy, I have not included those of people's houses. We saw many houses with smashed roof's, and many without power, who have no hope of getting any, for some time to come. We had our power restored after 2 days, and our internet after 4, so we were very fortunate. However, friends just three blocks away, are still without either, and so, we having a ready supply of ice, have given it to them, in hopes that they can at least keep their food from spoiling.

This was the view, out my kitchen window, the day after Iselle. We were supposed to get hit with Hurricane Julio, but God was merciful, and the storm changed direction, and missed us completely. For this we were truly thankful. Isn't Mauna Kea beautiful?! We can see the observatories, looking like white mushrooms, on its summit. Sadly, we can also see the very junky back buildings, of one of our neighbors. It was his tin, that was banging around during the night. Fortunately he was downwind, and so none of his tin wound up in our yard.
In closing I just want to say, that the Aloha of the Hawaiian people, is a wonderful thing. Everyone has been working double time, and has been so helpful. We are so comforted by their warmth, and friendliness, and have been more than happy, to go to their assistance as well. We are glad we brought chainsaws, and have seen the use of them believe me. We gave one to our friend Ricky, who was head of the crew, that cleared our neighborhood. It was a true gift, that kept on giving, to the blessing of all.

Aloha family, and thank you for all of your prayers. Mahalo pia, which in Hawaiian means, thank you with all my heart!

1 comment:

Yvonne Ellsworth said...

That looks horrific! I'm glad that you guys are ok!