By David Fleet
A few puddles in the parking lots. Some rain. On and off wind.
That’s how Justin Stonerock, 22, a 2013 graduate of Goodrich High School described the hurricane that wasn’t on his island home.
“We lost power for an hour on Friday and that was it,” said Stonerock, who moved to the west side of Honolulu about three miles east of Pearl Harbor. “We dodged a bullet—Oahu is very populated and it could have been a lot of damage. It’s pretty much back to normal. There’s even been a few minutes of open sky, added Stonerock.
Last week Stonerock, along with a few million others on the Hawaiian Islands were in the bullseye of Category 5 Hurricane Lane. According to the National Weather Service, as Lane roared toward the islands it slowed down, moving as slow as 2 m.p.h. at times. As it stopped, the storm’s outer bands were already over the Big Island of Hawaii, allowing Lane to drop 51.53 inches of rain as of early Sunday morning. The storm then dissipated.
“People took precautions and took it serious,” said Stonerock who moved to the Island of Oahu earlier this summer to stay with a friend and find work. “I left Goodrich for a change of scenery. Housing is very expensive out here, but I had a chance to stay. It’s been fun so far especially when it’s 87 degrees and sunny every day not too much rain. At least until now.”
The hurricane warnings came up on Aug. 22.
“People started stocking up on water in the stores about a week before,” he said. “Gas is about $3.60 per gallon and a few stations were out of fuel. The stores were out of cans of food—last week it was pretty the shelves were bare. A line of people were outside around Costco, there was no bottled water to be had.”
A list of shelters were issued such as high schools, hotels and stable structures.
“There’s really no running away from the this hurricane when you live on a small island,” he said. “You can’t drive inland even if you wanted to. Many people just stayed inside their homes. Schools were closed and so were many businesses.”
Stonerock said the Navy ships anchored in Pearl Harbor were moved off the island to open sea. According to the Defense Department, the 29 surface ships and submarines at Naval Station Pearl Harbor will remain at sea until the threat from the storm subsides and Hawaii-based Navy aircraft will be secured in hangars or flown to other airfields to avoid the effects of the hurricane.
“It could have been a lot worse,” he said.