‘I was so scared.’ Some lose everything as Lane floods part of Hawaii island

Local News

There’s a good reason why some roads are blocked off.

One man tried driving through but stalled out. 

Kamehameha Avenue Bayfront Highway, and Pauahi Street in Downtown Hilo remain closed so much rain over the past few days has turned streets into lakes.

In addition to the Hilo area parts of Puna are also dealing with flooded roads with people taking their chance driving through.

In some areas, it’s not ponding but rather landslides they worry about. 

Highway 19 north of Hilo has been blocked by numerous landslides over the past few days.
Some homes have also taken a beating.

Lane sure left its mark on Hawaii island, especially in the Piihonua neighborhood of Hilo.

Water rushed up Piihonua Road and into Andrea Lord’s home.

The school teacher said at one point, part of her house was under two feet of water.

“It was extremely scary, but I stayed upstairs and I only checked when the rain stopped,” Lord said. 

When asked if she had seen anything like this before, Lord replied, “No, and I’ve lived here for 12 years.”

Down the road on Waianuenue Avenue, Mother Nature really showed her strength.

Margaret Almada Collins and her late husband built their home 10 years ago. Now, it’s filled with mud.

“The force from that flash flood took the entire (concrete barrier) down,” she said. “You hear about flash floods and think water is just water, but you don’t realize how quickly it can become angry on you and just turn your world upside down.”

Collins had to be rescued Wednesday night.

“They had six rescue people and they had to use the cable and the ropes,” she recalled. “I was so scared. I burned my hand because I wrapped it three times (with the rope), because if you let go, you’re gone.”

Collins later returned home to find two inches of mud in her kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom — a lifetime of things she’s collected now damaged by water and mud. 

She’s trying to salvage what she can.

“I thought I had flood under my homeowner’s insurance. I don’t. So this whole expense is on me,” she said.

A retired county worker, Collins is grateful for all the help from friends and former coworkers.

“The good news is I didn’t lose my life,” she said. “A house can always be rebuilt, and when you see friends like this, it makes it that much more important, and so after all of this, we’ll have to celebrate. It’s a new beginning.”

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