Just like Hurricane Douglas, the Category 1 storm threatening the state, people were all over the map on Oahu’s North Shore.
Some residents were using the calm before the storm to hurriedly fill sand bags, board up windows, and dig out stream. There were also families rushing to pack cars to evacuate.
However, this is Hawaii, so of course, the popular surf spot Pounders was filled with a few dozen locals trying to catch epic waves in the rising surf. A few got out of the water to rush home to secure their potted plants when the emergency sirens started sounding about 11 a.m.
The sound made more of an impact on Dotty Kelly-Paddock, who lives with her husband and son on a Hauula hillside, and is worried about the damage that wind, rain and ocean surges could bring.
Kelly -Paddock was especially worried about her neighbors who live along the ocean’s edge of Kamehameha Highway near Pokiwai Bridge, When she checked in on them earlier today they were making sandbags and trying to dig out the sand build-up that clogs the stream.”
“The city came Friday, but it’s already clogged again. It’s not ready for Hurricane Douglas, the high tides bring the sand right back in,” Kelly-Paddock, the Hauula Community Association president. “We ‘re very concerned that it’s all going to be flooded with the storm surge so people are preparing to project their homes. People here are taking this very, very serious. This is a scary one and it’s headed right for Kahuku and Hauulu.”
Kelly-Paddock also worries that some neighbors have no where to go.
While Brigham Young University opened a temporary shelter, the area is still in an inundation zone, she said. Most residents will have to travel 20 to 25 miles to get to a safer zone, Kelly-Paddock said.
Jon and Matty Parker, who were spending the summer in Hauula visiting friends, said they began packing up their four kids and belongings late last night.
“We decided to head out once we heard the city buses were stopping at noon,” Jon Parker said. “We were headed to the car as the sirens started.”
Preston Swann, a Kaneohe resident, also was taking the storm seriously. Swann was out filling sand bags on the side of the road about 9:30 a.m. on the shoreline across from Kualoa Ranch
“I went to every City Mill yesterday looking for silica sand yesterday, but they were all out. I called a bunch of Home Depots and nobody had any so we were forced to make our own,” Swann said. “We did the food, water and storage thing first. And, I guess we should have started on the sand bags earlier.”
Swann said the sand bags are necessary because his apartment building tends to flood with storm surges.
“How worried am I? I’d say on a scale of 1 to 10, it’s about a 3, but I’m a little more anxious about this one than the last few storms,” he said.
On the other end of the spectrum, Kekai Paulsen spent three to four hours of the morning surfing Pounders and by mid-afternoon was taking footage of other surfers enjoying his “summer spot.”
Paulsen said the waves were about 3 to 5 feet Hawaiian style, which is about 6 to 10 feet faces.
“The surfers will be out here until the storm comes and will probably return tonight when it’s higher tide,” he said