Flood victims homeless, belongings destroyed - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Flood victims homeless, belongings destroyed

Tracy Lee Leilani Smith Tracy Lee Leilani Smith

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

HALEIWA (KHNL) - A day after storms pound the islands, flood victims see for the first time just how much they've lost to Mother Nature's fury.

Late Friday afternoon, Governor Linda Lingle signed a State Disaster Proclamation, that provides for quick response and recovery.

Meanwhile those forced to evacuate, return to their homes to try and salvage what's left of their belongings. Some victims found their homes completely destroyed.

Among them is Tracy Lee Leilani Smith, who broke down as reality sunk in.

"This place is not livable," she said.

It's her first time seeing her Haleiwa home since flood waters came crashing through her neighborhood.

Tracy had to flee after water invaded her home. She says it rose chest high within just 20 minutes. As Tracy walked through the muddy aftermath, she wrestled with the harsh possibility there's nothing to save.

"I have no home, everything of mine is just destroyed, everything has to be thrown away," she said.

Tracy is among those living near the Paukauila Stream, which overflowed during the relentless storm.

See It Snap It Send It pictures of another home nearby show the entire property submerged.

"I don't even know if my truck is going to run because the whole truck was covered with water," said Smith, "I just feel so overwhelmed, I don't know what to do."

It's a loss difficult to grasp, right before the holidays.

The Red Cross has three shelters open for flood victims - Waianae District Park, Queen Liliokalani Protestant Church, and the old gym at BYU University.

They'll remain open overnight as needed. The Red Cross urges those who need help to go to a shelter, and provide the address of their home so the Red Cross can send staff to assess the damage and see what services it can provide.

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