Kipahulu & Kaupo Residents Get Emergency Supplies

Tweety Lind
Tweety Lind

By Joann Shin

(KHNL) - Days of wet weather postponed a much-needed air drop to two remote communities on Maui.

But on Friday, relief has finally arrived.

Residents in Kipahulu and Kaupo had to make do without many essential items because they are cut-off from the rest of the island.

They are isolated because the Paihi Bridge is off-limits after it was badly damaged during last month's earthquakes.

The bridge connects the two towns to the rest of the island.

Residents have gotten by, but they're relieved to finally get basic necessities.

Crews pick up essentials bound for Kipahulu and Kaupo.

Necessities from toilet paper, gasoline, propane tanks to food.

"Today's mission, what the Air National Guard is planning to do is move fuels, food and some other supplies via chinook helicopters," explained Maj. Dave Kashiwamura, with the Hawaii Air National Guard.

Once the supplies are loaded onto the chopper, the crew is airborne.

John and Tweety Lind are happy to see them.

These Kipahulu residents explain what it's been like since the bridge was shut down.

According to John Lind, "It put us in a position, where we can't get to town, we like it some ways because it feels like old days."

"The Kipahulu family is pulling together. We're trying to live the life that we've always lived, being self sufficient," said Tweety Lind.

And while they're getting by, John says it's nice to get certain items.

"Gas, especially gas, things like that and animal feed for some people that have horses, pigs," Lind said.

Officials say they planned to make two air drops every week until the bridge is repaired.

Tweety Lind said, "It's been a trial, but the county has been trying, all the FEMA have been trying to keep in close contact. It's coming together."

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa announced that crews will begin construction on a temporary bridge on Monday.