By: Rick Blangiardi
When it was apparent that we had two major hurricanes bearing down on Hawaii, we geared up in a big way. We sent crews to Maui and the Big Island and fanned out across Oahu to talk about how people were preparing and how they could stay safe.
Iselle hit the Big Island as a tropical storm and Julio flew north but Oahu was left pretty much unscathed, leaving the mayor to issue an "all-clear" on a sunny Friday.
Of course, when major weather events do not happen in a place with 80 percent of the population, people ask us why we made such a big deal about the storms.
Try asking the city, which shut down bus service on Oahu until the afternoon, or the DOE, which closed the schools all day, or the operators of all the shuttered malls
And try asking the Big Island residents of the Puna district, where thousands were left without power, water, and supplies. Hundreds of structures were damaged and thousands of trees had to be removed. Restoring the area to full power may take several more weeks.
The fact is, this was a major weather emergency and Hawaii News Now was there every step of the way. We had a major presence everywhere and we were well prepared for the storms.
Many Big Island residents are still feeling some pain. For the other islands, this was a major wake-up call and a severe reminder that we all need to be ready when the next storm hits.