HILO, Hawaii – The roof was blown off the back of a Hilo home during the recent storm that struck Hawaii Island, and the family that lived there is thankful no one was seriously hurt.
The Hawaii County Fire Department believes a micro tornado may be to blame for the powerful and precise wind gusts that blew entire sections of the roof across the street. It happened during Monday’s drenching of East Hawaii, the worst in a days-long storm that brought thunder, lightning, flooding and even hail to the island.
We stopped by the scene Tuesday afternoon and found the Dekoning family cleaning up the mess, trying to pick up the pieces of their lives.
The Dekonings were renters of the home. Now, they have been set up at Uncle Billy’s Hotel thanks to the Red Cross. Captain Dekoning is a Hawaii County firefighter and is used to being busy around New Years, when Hawaii customarily celebrates with a flurry of pyrotechnics. Dekoning actually heard the call for the incident before he realized it was his own residence. Dekoning’s older daughter – one of five children – sustained a minor injury; Cap says she got hurt when she lept to protect her younger sister from the flying debris. But on Tuesday, she did not appear the worse for wear, working hard to help her family move their rain soaked belongings out of the roofless house.
Friends of Cap and Anela Dekoning say the family has lost everything. The family had just cancelled their renters insurance. Friends say a Paypal account has been set up for them to help them through this time. The account is under: firstname.lastname@example.org
In an interview with Big Island Video News, Cap said he is just happy that no one was seriously injured and thanked his friends and neighbors for their generosity.