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Hurricane shelters could use more staffing, but Gov. Ige pleased with Douglas response

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Gov David Ige leads a news conference at the State Capitol about the state’s response to Hurricane Douglas Saturday.

    JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Gov David Ige leads a news conference at the State Capitol about the state’s response to Hurricane Douglas Saturday.

Hawaii’s emergency shelters in the era of COVID-19 could have used more volunteers but Gov. David Ige was generally pleased with how the state responded to the threat of Hurricane Douglas, which appeared to cause little damage on its way past Maui County and Oahu today.

“We hope that we dodged a bullet,” Ige told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser this evening as Douglas appeared to spare the islands for the most part. “We were fortunate in that we did not have major flooding or major dislocations.”

However Kauai was still not in the clear this evening as Hurricane Douglas moved west-northwest past Oahu.

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials who landed in the islands for Douglas had to endure Ige’s mandatory, 14-day COVID-19 quarantine and had to communicate via social distancing, as a result, Ige said.

And the usual cadre of volunteers to staff emergency shelters did not show up in their usual numbers, he said.

“We all need to make a concerted effort to sign up volunteers and have them all trained,” Ige said.

COVID-19 showed “a couple of minor gaps that were exposed,” Ige said. “This is such an uncertain time in a lot of different ways.”

Overall, however, Ige was pleased how the people of Hawaii responded to the first major hurricane of the season.

“I do think people responded and were prepared,” Ige said. “I saw a lot of people taking the appropriate preparations.”

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