Monday, August 18, 2014


Well, I guess it was a Tropical Storm by the time it hit us - although I wouldn't be surprised at all if the winds hit us at elevation at hurricane strength.  It's been surprisingly hard to deal with the aftermath in our area.  People are still without power, reliable phone, cell, or internet.  I feel really fortunate to have power, but my cell and internet come and go, seemingly randomly.  (I haven't shared my deep loathing for Verizon Wireless, but let me just share that they went down for over a week - and still charged me for using data.  For the 8th month in a row, I have had to argue it out with Customer Service.  Tiring - and therefore, they are losing our business). 

Our school held a hurricane drive - various necessities like canned goods, toilet paper, heavy duty garbage bags (for ice), drinking water, flashlights, batteries (hard to find commodity here).... Several teachers and lots of kids were affected.  It's been a long week and a half. 

The district got some attention because two precincts couldn't vote in the primary.  One hotly contested Democrat US Senate race was down to the wire - they needed those two precincts to determine the outcome.  Both candidates showed up to visibly help and garnered some ill will doing so - doubt they would have been here unless without an election to win.  Now the election is over, and they're out of here, and Puna is once again out of the limelight.  It still stinks in lots of the deep rural areas of Puna, though. 

I didn't have it at all as bad as some of our staff and students, but I am still so tired - like a hurricane hangover.  I even have hives, but I kind of think that might be from eating almonds every day of last week - I've never been allergic to anything, but maybe I overdid it.  It could be from stress, though - having a big storm and starting school at the same time was pretty stressful, to be honest.   I am really grateful my husband got that part-time teaching job, but even good change is stressful. 

We still have lots of trees down, but we're just leaving them for now.  Too many other projects to get done.  I won't be planting a fall garden, because three big pines are covering that spot - killed my struggling laua'e ferns, sadly. 

Hopefully, the big storms that our out in the Pacific stay far away from us (we're having an active year), and people get back their power, and the electric company and the state highways people decide that cutting all the trees that surround (and grow around) all the phone and power lines is a good idea and they upgrade our fairly antiquated phone system (in rural areas, anyway) - in other words, we learn from this. 


Barry said...

Good to see Now is a very good time to just declare a "down for maintenance" day, then it will be easier to dig back into the remaining problems. I had to laugh at your optimism that HECO will trim the close branches. I begged them to do that along a stretch of trees that routinely wiped out our power with any little squall. Job security, I guess.

NancyDe said...

No "down for maintenance days" for us - the school year has started in earnest. Thankfully, we're rural and a few piles of trees and downed trees is an "oh well" instead of an eyesore - the only real rush is the thick waiawi clump in the empty lot next door - it fell across our driveway, but now we have to poison it and chop it up or it will grow an even thicker clump.

I really do think the state and county guys and the utilities will have to do something - as optimistic as it is, because the Albizia problem is finally getting public attention. The damage wouldn't have been so bad in Puna if it weren't for these invasive, brittle trees. I smell grant money for the UH system...