HONOLULU (KHON2) — A former Hawaii nurse’s journey to escape ill effects of the Red Hill incident led her right into the path of a natural disaster.
Kelly Morris moved to Cape Coral, Florida in April and was sheltered in Miami as Hurricane Ian moved up the state on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
Kelly did not have a hurricane in mind when she bought the house in Cape Coral.
“Chose Florida because of the weather, cause we wanted warm, sunny beaches similar to Hawaii,” Morris said, “not getting that now!”
Morris used to live in Kapilina Beach Homes near Red Hill and left Oahu after she and her daughter developed signs of fuel poisoning. They have yet to spend 6 months in the Sunshine State but are already facing a natural disaster.
Their Cape Coral house is now all boarded up and the Morris’ evacuated to a Miami hotel.
“It wasn’t until Tuesday morning when our County issued the mandatory evacuation order for our zone that we decided, ‘Alright, we’re out, we’re leaving.'”
The University of Hawaii at Manoa graduate Haily Garofalo lives a few hours north in Jacksonville, Florida. She did not feel the brunt of Hurricane Ian but she still took precautions — lawn and pool chairs had to come inside.
“We took those and put them all in the garage. On the front porch, we had some rocking chairs, we laid those all down, anything that was loose basically outside had to come in,” Garofalo said.
Morris shared a photo of the Miami sunset as she hunkered down in a hotel with her daughter and dog. She said she is not sorry about leaving paradise, but hopes she has a home to return to in Cape Coral.
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“You just have to stay positive and keep moving on and try not to dwell on the negative. I don’t regret leaving Hawaii, I miss it, but I don’t regret my decision to leave,” Morris said.