MAUI (KLAS) — Much-needed supplies, including jugs of water, are making their way to evacuees in Maui by road and by boat.
Maui police reopened access for residents affected by the Lahaina fire around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The road was open for about four hours Friday, but quickly closed as people came too close to areas with debris and possible human remains.
With more than 80 people known to have died in the fires, the islands are seeing a humanitarian mission like never before.
“It feels super helpless,” Jessica Zboron, who lives on the island, said. “I want to be there to help but also I’m happy I can be wherever I can.”
Zboron set up a coffee stand near a harbor where volunteers were loading supplies onto boats. Earlier in the day, cars lined up at a checkpoint to try to get back home.
“It’s all about the community and when something disaster happens, we stay together,” Nano Messera, who was getting on a jet ski, said. Messera was planning to transport supplies from boats to shore near Lahaina.
He already had made the trip several times.
“I’ve never been in a war, but it kind of like that it looks like a nuclear bomb came down and destroyed the whole town,” Messera said.
Officials from FEMA estimate more than 2,000 structures in Lahaina are gone, the majority of them homes. Democratic Gov. Josh Green said he hopes to work with short-term rental companies and hotels to turn rooms into places for the displaced.
“Our residents are literally suffering in shelters right now without power or water and there are multi-billion-dollar hotels hosting tourists,” Zboron said. “It’s a bizarre world we’re living in right now.”
County officials said they continued to identify remains. More supplies continue to flood in from across the country.