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Some Big Isle campers ignoring coastal evacuation orders

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

LAST UPDATED: 04:31 p.m. HST, Jul 29, 2013

HILO >> About 85 families who were part of a Department of Hawaiian Home Lands-sponsored camping event at South Hilo’s Keaukaha Beach Park — many of whom have been there since the first week of June —  were told to vacate Sunday afternoon.

Johna Polino, of Panaewa, and her family had already finished cleaning up their campsite and were helping others remove their tents and pallets.

Polino said she was somewhat disappointed the outing had to end but understood fully the reason why.

“It’s fine with me,” she said. “Safety comes first.”

But not everyone was heeding the call.

Joyce Ganon, whose family has been camping at the park every summer for 15 years, said no one had come by to tell her party to leave.

“We’re going to stay,” Ganon said. “If it gets really bad, we’re gonna leave.”

She added: “My kids no like leave. They’re water babies.”

At the Target store in Hilo, a steady stream of last-minute shoppers were heading in and out with various essential supplies.

Andrew and Jolanda Rosario and their sons Austin and Aaron, picked up coolers, water and other items.

Target, Home Depot and Wal-Mart were all already out of “D” batteries by dark, said the Rosarios, residents of Mountain View in upper Puna. .

Home Depot was out of bottled water by noon, Andrew Rosario said.

Most schools in the island don’t start until later this week, but acting Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said his staff was still checking private and charter schools to learn of their plans.

Closed today are Hawaii Community College, including the University of Hawaii Center in West Hawaii, and the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

The county announced that all of its parks were closed by the end of the evening Sunday. The state made a similar announcement regarding its beach parks about 8:30 p.m.

Evacuation shelters are being opened at nine locations at 4 a.m. They are Hisaoka Gym in North Kohala, Waimea Community Center, Honokaa Community Center, Laupahoehoe Elementary School, Aunty Sally's Luau Hale in South Hilo, Pahoa Community Center, Mountain View Elementary School, Pahala Community Center and the West Hawaii Civic Center in Kailua-Kona.

The Pahala, Mountain View and Kailua-Kona locations were added by Hawaii Civil Defense at 6:15 p.m. following the news that the storm was heading in a more southerly direction.

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manakuke wrote:
Although wind speed has slowed the storm surge from a typhoon now degraded to a tropical storm can be incredibly powerful. Tremendous energy is unleashed during nature’s fury. Waiting to the last minute just results in people running for their lives.
on July 29,2013 | 03:20AM
miss_laulau wrote:
For those campers or hikers who have been warned and refuse to heed the warning then need to be rescued should be charged for the rescue.
on July 29,2013 | 04:04AM
kiragirl wrote:
They shouldn't be asked or warned but told/ordered to leave.
on July 29,2013 | 07:19AM
busterb wrote:
It's ok, they're water babies!
on July 29,2013 | 08:11AM
cojef wrote:
Sounds like they prefer to be among the statistic in tomorrow's headlines for the missing, injured or dead. Auwe.
on July 29,2013 | 08:19AM
Anonymous wrote:
Hawai'i County First Responders should not be under any obligation to rescue these incredibly stupid people. Unfortunately, kids are at risk when even their own mother shrugs off the threat when, after all, "no one had come by to tell her party to leave". It's called COMMON SENSE, Ms. Ganon, which seems to be in short supply these days and obviously with YOU. These are the FIRST people who are going to sue the State and County when one of their loved ones dies or is seriously injured due to their OWN appalling ignorance and stupidity. "My kids no like leave." I feel sorry for her kids. Some role model their mother's turned out to be.
on July 29,2013 | 05:52AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection will weed these lolo off the face of the earth .
on July 29,2013 | 08:53AM
false wrote:
So be it.
on July 29,2013 | 08:59AM
false wrote:
I think she misunderstood what the term "water babies" actually means.
on July 29,2013 | 09:23AM
hilopango wrote:
Keaukaha Beach Park is flat...go ahead, go be stupid.
on July 29,2013 | 11:53AM
SueH wrote:
Oh, the drama!
on July 29,2013 | 12:02PM
baileygirl9631 wrote:
Wow! I didn't know you can camp in Keaukaha indefinitely! Lucky for them.
on July 29,2013 | 01:30PM
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