As power outages continue, one Big Island restaurant remained open to serve hot food with candlelight

Local News

VOLCANO, Hawaii (KHON2) — For the entire day Sunday, Dec. 5, it has rained in Volcano Village on the Big Island — and they came in spurts. For one moment, it would be pounding rain, and the next the wind would be howling.

At Kilauea Lodge, much rain has fallen, and this is only the beginning as the National Weather Service (NWS) said this storm could bring upwards of 25 inches of rain in some areas on the Big Island.

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However, it is not just the rain that people have to worry about. Southern parts of the Big Island are getting blasted with heavy rain, low visibility and howling winds. On Mamalahoa Highway, the wind knocked down a tree, and Hawaiian Electric crews were at the scene to clean up the mess and restore power to the area.

By Sunday night, power was still not restored for Volcano Village.

“We had a couple of branches come down in our parking lot… one of our pipes on our tanks have broken, so yeah, it’s kind of been a little chaotic,” said Janet Coney, general manager of the Kilauea Lodge.

The storm forced Kilauea Lodge to shut down completely. Coney added they had to call every dinner reservation to let them know they are closed.

“Unfortunately when we don’t have power, the restaurant has to shut down,” Coney said.

But there is still one business in Volcano Village that was still open: Thai Thai Bistro and Bar.

“Well, we had power outage before, so we know already how to handle this situation… I just didn’t know it was going to be this long. But we have gas stoves, so we are still able to cook food and stuff for the customers,” explained Praewa Wu, a server at Thai Thai Bistro and Bar.

Although the menu was limited, the restaurant stayed open to serve up hot food by candlelight in hopes of being a bright spot for visitors amid the storm.

“We just feel bad for them. They’re coming to Hawaii, there’s no food here in Volcano. So, that’s why we stay open… do what we can,” added Wu.

Their customers are very thankful.

“I think it’s absolutely amazing. Props to them. Everyone should come here to the Thai restaurant to get their food cause they’re just rolling with the punches and it’s kinda romantic in here,” Brian Wu said, who is visiting from LA.

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The power is not back in the Volcano area. Officials are urging people to stay off the roads because there is a lot of debris on the roads and strong winds could cause trees to fall.

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