(ABOVE) Interview with HPP resident Jennifer Lefevre, conducted in Hilo where she volunteered to help the Red Cross at the Waiakea High School shelter
Video by David Corrigan
HAWAIIAN PARADISE PARK, Hawaii – Hilo was largely spared by Hurricane Iselle, but parts of Puna were not so lucky. Fallen albizia trees blocked the subdivision’s private roads and pulled down power lines.
While HPP manged to clear a path on Maku’u drive by the time we drove it, the trunks of hewn trees pushed to the side of the road were intimidating, and the cables bundled around the branches and lying on the ground created a sense of continuing danger.
Along some dead-end side streets, residents continued to feverishly chainsaw their way through the forest of fallen trees, trying to cut their way to freedom.
Before our visit to HPP, we interviewed a young resident of the subdivision. Jennifer Lefevre, who had voluneered for the Red Cross at the Waiakea High School shelter, told us she was nervous to go home and see the wreckage.
An estimated 15,000 customers on the island – most of them in Puna, as well as Kalopa-Paauilo and Pahala – remain without power.
The State Office of Elections has taken note of Hawaiian Paradise Park’s plight. For two Big Island polling places – both in Puna – the election will be postponed. According to the State:
Chief Election Officer Scott Nago, in consultation with the State Attorney General, Hawaii County Civil Defense and the Office of the County Clerk, announced today the postponement of the primary election for two polling places in the County of Hawaii.
Roads leading to Hawaii Paradise Community Center (04-01) and Keoneopoko Elementary School (04-02) polling places are closed. “According to Hawaii County Civil Defense, the damage to roadways have left some communities in Puna isolated,” Nago says.
Nago noted that voting in the rescheduled election will be done by absentee ballot. He will be working closely with the Office of the County Clerk to develop a timeline for when ballots will be provided to voters in the affected polling places. However, votes cast by absentee ballot for these polling places will be counted and included with tomorrow’s election results, in accordance with state law.
With the exception of these two polling places, the primary election will move forward. Polls open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.Hawaii State Office of Elections