Waves of business disruption from tsunami warning - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Waves of business disruption from tsunami warning

By Howard Dicus - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some Hawaii stores made lots of supply sales because of the tsunami warning, but many businesses mostly lost revenue from the event.

Supermarket that opened early on Saturday sold loads of bottled water, toilet paper, flashlights, batteries and other supplies. They reaped extra revenue from the Hawaii custom of stocking in on everything imaginable when bad weather may be approaching.

But the evacuation of Waikiki stripped ABC Stores of their tourist customers, so many of those stores did not open at all. Ala Moana Center did not open Saturday due to proximity to the coast. The people who sell huli chicken across from Ward Warehouse did not open Saturday.

On Sunday, Sam's Club and Wal-Mart found their return tables piled high with food that had been bought Saturday morning. Except for canned goods, the food could not be restored ton shelves for health reasons and had to be thrown out.

Hawaiian Airlines had to cancel all flights to Hilo during the evacuation period because on coastal neighborhood in Hilo evacuates directly across the runway. Airline flight cancellations can mean some lost revenue but also save on fuel.

Island Air suspended all operations during the tsunami warning. More than half an hour after the warning was lifted, its outsource call center was still waiting for word of resumption of flights. Some late afternoon flights were made.

Television stations lost commercial revenue as they pre-empted regular programming for wall-to-wall coverage of the approach tsunami, which did no major damage but caused rapidly changing tides in Hilo and Kahului harbor. Kahului saw a 3-foot surge.

Police and fire departments racked up overtime, a difficult expense factor at a time when state and county tax revenue is down.

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