The water was rising all around our house on Reeds Island (during Hurricane Lane). Firemen already evacuated the renters next door, but we declined evacuation because our house was on high ground and stayed dry.
However, at 9 p.m. I got two text messages from friends telling us that Civil Defense was recommending evacuation of Kaiulani Street. I called 911 for confirmation and again was asked if we wanted to evacuate. This time, I said “yes” because we were completely surrounded by rising water and trapped.
The same six firemen from earlier in the day returned with smiles on their faces. They tied ropes to the trees, and I found myself willingly walking into the raging currents inspired by the confidence of the strong, handsome firemen on each arm. They did the same for my husband and carried out our dog.
I want to thank these brave men, some of whom worked all night, for their professionalism and aloha spirit.
A few days later, as we were driving around Hilo checking out Lane’s aftermath, I discovered that the heavily flooded Gilbert Carvalho Park had drain pipes leading directly into upper Reeds Island.
I urge the county to explore alternative drainage possibilities for the park in order to prevent future severe flooding in our community.
Protect public lands
Wild public lands, such as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, provide us with places where we can seek relief from the noise, haste and crowds that too often overwhelm us.
Colorado’s highest concentration of organic farms, the North Fork Gunnison River, is being threatened by oil and gas drilling.
To reduce the demand for climate-changing oil and gas, consumers can: (1) advocate for more frequent and on-time public transportation; (2) rideshare, walk or ride a bike; (3) reduce driving.
Examine your consumption habits. Ask yourself, “Do I need or just want an item or experience?”
(4) Join an environmental organization such as the Sierra Club.
(5) Consuming locally grown foods cuts back on oil-intensive importation of foods.
(6) Grow a few edibles in your (or a neighbor’s) yard.
(7) Contact your elected politician. Insist they support “Too Wild to Drill” in the Arctic Refuge.
Among some of the pristine and sacred lands that must not be destroyed are: Grand Canyon (uranium mining), the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (gold mining), Chihuahuan Desert Rivers (oil and gas drilling) and the Appalachian Trail (natural gas pipeline).
Do we want our seas to rise, and do we want more frequent and more severe storms? With our addiction to oil and gas, those catastrophes will happen.