Maui County's Felicia threat fades

Dianne Parrella
Dianne Parrella
Darren McMaster
Darren McMaster

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

MAUI (KHNL) - Threats of potential disaster from Felicia in Maui County are now diminished. It was initially expected to be a lion's roar, but Felicia turned out to be a pretty tame "prrrr". Maui County residents were ready, but now breath a sigh of relief.

A week full of worries started with sunny beaches. But then the sprinkles came.

"You are doing the cots, do you know where to put them?," said Maui County Red Cross volunteer Dianne Parrella.

"We need the tables moved to the back," said Kihei Civil Air Patrol volunteer Samuel Parrella.

The Kihei Community Center was one of nine emergency shelters opened Monday night.

"The Red Cross is being spread so thin because we have so many shelters to open," said Diane Parrella.

It can hold hundreds, but only one person showed up. Darren McMaster.

"This is pretty weird," said Maui Resident Darren McMaster.

But still, volunteers like the Kihei 76th Squadron Civil Air Patrol prepared.

"Setting up tables, helping the people, doing whatever the Red Cross needs," said Samuel Parrella.

But people never showed up, because it wasn't serious yet. Tuesday, grey skies and steady rain came, but by morning, Maui officials said they were in the clear.

"It didn't happen, but we were ready for what was going to happen," said Mayor Charmaine Tavares.

Maui County's top point people are positive about their preparations.

"When we need it we all come together," said Maui County Red Cross' Gail Rakes.

"Constant updates, constant good information," said Maui Schools Area Superintendent Bruce Anderson.

"We are very flexible, we can deploy on short notice," said Maui district health officer Lorrin Pang.

"We met with the airlines," said Maui District Airport manager Marvin Moniz.

"It didn't turn out to be as drastic and dramatic as it could have been. I think people are now beginning to feel a better sense of security," said Tavares.

Maui County's emergency plans may not have been needed this time, but officials say they're now even more prepared for the next.