Thursday we expected to feel the full wrath and fury of Hurricane Lane by 2pm in the afternoon. We had gotten up several times Wednesday night to check on things. But oddly things were still and calm.
The morning news brought us reports of widespread rain, wind, landslides, road closures, school closures, business closures, government offices closures, etc. But Kihei was quiet. No wind and only a drizzle. The town was also quiet with only a few stores opened. The staff at our condo was locking down furniture and asked us to do the same by bringing all the furniture off the lanai and putting it into our condo with us. We had drinking water, pots and pans and wastepaper baskets filled with water for flushing toilets, flashlights, food cooked and stocked, electronics charged, dishes cleaned, extra bags ready to go if we had to evacuate to a shelter. The news reports looked bad and the condo posted this in the elevator.
We watched the news much of the morning and while there was definitely flooding, winds, and issues around the island, Kihei seemed to be protected in the shadow of Haleakala. The surf was up! We decided to go boogie boarding.
Later that morning we checked the news again and it appears Lane was stalling. The storm had slowed its advancement across the Pacific towards Hawaii and had weakened to a Cat 4 storm. It would appear that the storm may not come in until later that night.
We decided to go see a matinee, assuming we may have heavy weather when the movie was over. There weren’t many choices in town but Tawny caught (and loved) Crazy Rich Asians, while the rest of us (being in Hawaii) thought it would be more fun to see The Meg (Spoiler alert: Pippen lives).
Thursday night we had dinner reservations at Ko, a seafood restaurant within the Fairmont Kea Lani resort for my mother’s birthday. We had called the restaurant the day before and they weren’t sure they’d be open. We called them again to see if we should cancel our reservations as it coincided with the forecasted impact of Lane. The restaurant manager assured us that although they are an open-air restaurant they’d do their best to accommodate us, even suggesting they could move us to an interior hallway and serve us if necessary. We felt at the very least we’d have an adventurous meal. We decided to keep the reservations. We arrived and saw the Fairmont was locked down and ready for the hurricane with furniture stacked, display cases secured, and shelter in place notices posted for their guests.
But the weather was calm and our meal was delicious. The sunset in the outdoor venue was the most spectacular of our trip.
Checking the news before bed we expected the storm to hit us during the night. It didn’t. Again we woke several times to check the weather. Calm. No rain.
When morning came we learned that the storm had further weakened to a Category 3 but was still headed towards Maui. It had slowed its advance to only a few miles an hour but was still assumed to be coming our way. We received several flash flood alerts throughout the day for Maui, just none in Kihei where it remained calm and only a drizzle. We learned there had been a large fire near Lahaina overnight burning over 300 acres and destroying several homes. Flights were getting canceled into and out of Maui. It looked like the storm was imminent. We spent our morning inside watching the rain and the weather from our lanai as well as all the other guests at our condo.
But the weather in Kihei actually improved by late morning. The surf was up and while it was cloudy it brightened up. We continued to get flash flood warnings and see widespread damage to some parts of the island on TV, but Kihei remained well protected. The wind did pick up for a bit, and with it the surf got HUGE! The result was we had some of the best boogie-boarding of our lives until the surf got so big we felt it best to leave the water with our spines intact.
As the day progressed Hurricane Lane became Hurricane Lame. It was downgraded throughout the day to a category 2, then 1, and by the late afternoon became Tropical Storm Lane. It wasn’t until well after dinner that night we actually got our first serious rain, which continues as I write this, but with no wind to speak of.
While we are personally disappointed we didn’t get to experience a little more Hurricane we are grateful to be safe and sound and flying home tomorrow. We feel sorry for those who weren’t as lucky as us. There were many reports of washed out roads, landslides, flooding (with up to 40 inches of rain), wind damage, power outages, and fires. We just didn’t have any of that. We do now have some newfound disaster prep skills we didn’t know we had previously which should prove useful for our next inevitable naturals climate change disaster or zombie apocalypse, whichever comes first.