Kaunakakai a ‘ghost town’ as Molokai residents brace for Tropical Storm Olivia

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As people prepare on the island of Maui, residents on Molokai are also readying themselves for the storm.

Jenn Boneza spoke to Molokai resident and Halawa Valley Falls Cultural Hike owner Greg Solatorio, who left his home in Halawa Valley to ride out the storm in Kaunakakai with ohana.

“People are taping up their windows, making their preparations. The wind is slowly starting to pick up here,” said Solatorio.

“The town of Kaunakakai right now is very bare,” he added. “There’s not a lot of people in town. There’s a few people running in and out of stores, but pretty much not that much people moving around, and the shops are slowly boarding up or already boarding up, so it’s kind of like a ghost town right now.

“Here on Molokai people are concerned and worried. Everybody’s taking it pretty seriously, taking down tents and canvases. I’ve seen homes with boarded up windows already, with water supplies packed up on trucks. People have supplied up with gas, so people here are pretty much prepared and ready for it,” he continued.

His biggest concern, Solatorio says, is the rain.

“Where I live, there’s a lot of rivers and waterfalls so the flooding, I live in Halawa Valley on Molokai, so the flooding there can get very serious in the valley there, so that’s what I’m pretty much worried about is the flooding, not so much the wind,” he explained.

“Because we’re so limited with supplies here on the island, and we’re hearing our barge won’t come until next week, so that’s a little over a week of no shipments coming in, so supplies can get very low here on the island, so the way people prepare here is if the barge ain’t coming in, they’re going to start living off the land, hunting and fishing, and that’s a lot of the preparation we do is to make sure we’ve got things to survive on in case the barge doesn’t come in,” Solatorio said.

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