People stand near flood waters from Hurricane Lane making the intersection of Kamehameha Avenue and Pauahi Street impassable Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, in Hilo, Hawaii. Hurricane Lane soaked Hawaii’s Big Island on Thursday, dumping nearly 20 inches of rain in nearly 24 hours as residents stocked up on supplies and tried to protect their homes ahead of the state’s first hurricane since 1992. (Hollyn Johnson/Hawaii Tribune-Herald via AP)

B.C. woman shares experience of riding out Hawaii hurricane

Flash flooding, landslides from Hurricane Lane have caused major damage near Jade Vaughan’s home

While many residents in B.C. are facing raging forest fires, Langley native Jade Vaughan is in the path of a different type of natural catastrophe in Hawaii.

The outskirts of Hurricane Lane have battered the Big Island with heavy winds and rains, causing damage to homes and infrastructure.

Now downgraded to a Category 2 storm, the strongest part is expected to pass by Oahu and Maui tonight (Aug. 24).

READ MORE: 5 tourists rescued from flooded home as storm hits Hawaii

“The last week was confusing at first because there have been as many as 10 hurricanes that flew right past Hawaii during my living here,” said Vaughan, a Walnut Grove Secondary grad who moved to Hawaii to attend the University of Hawaii Manoa on a track and field scholarship.

“You get worried for a day, but then the course changes to miss Hawaii or it diminishes to a tropical storm. It’s like the storms that cried wolf. When it stayed on track to hit, I counted my lucky stars that I am on the easternmost tip of the state.”

Vaughan had been living in the heart of Waikiki — where the danger of flash flooding and high surf is currently the greatest — until the end of June, when she relocated to the Big Island, the area now with the least amount of risk.

But that’s not to say she’s escaped the storm unscathed.

In Ninole, a town about 20 minutes north of Hilo where Vaughan and her boyfriend, Dylan, currently reside, there has been devastating flooding and more than 30 inches of rain. In Vaughan’s backyard, coconut and avocado trees have come crashing down, and a road just five minutes away from her has been washed out.

During an interview with the Times, she discovered a landslide had come down and damaged a neighbouring home. She offered to take photos, but realized it was too dangerous to go outside.

Meanwhile, Vaughan’s friends on Oahu have been boarding up their houses and stocking up on supplies. Most of their homes were built in a valley in the 1980s, and were not made to stand high water or winds, Vaughan said. One friend lost their house a few months ago during flash floods caused by just one night of rain.

While she is more than used to the cold, endless rain in Langley — Vaughan was a star athlete with the Walnut Grove and Coquitlam Cheetahs track and field clubs and often found herself training in it — these extreme tropical weather events have been somewhat scary and exciting to experience.

READ MORE: Vaughan overcomes nerves to take gold

“Usually Hawaii is pretty calm, but the last few months have definitely been interesting,” Vaughan said.

“The lava flow (earlier this summer) proved to be an incredible sight when flying into Hilo. If I walk up the road I’m living on now, I can sometimes still see the red glow reflecting off the clouds.”

The scariest danger was the accidental nuclear missile alert sent out in January. For nearly 40 minutes, Vaughan, and other residents of Hawaii, panicked before it was announced that the alert had been sent out by mistake.

“That was terrifying and I’m sure life changing for many people,” Vaughan said. “At my work location that day people were screaming, running into each other, putting children in manholes — all while knowing these were not strong enough to protect us from a nuclear bomb.”

READ MORE: ‘There was nowhere to go’ — Langley couple caught in false Hawaii missile alert

In the coming weeks, Vaughan plans to return home to Langley to launch her own digital marketing and event agency, but for now, she hopes to just make it through the weekend unscathed.

“Honestly, we prepared by filling our generators and making sure we have lots to drink and many board games to play,” she said.



miranda@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Langley native Jade Vaughan shares her experience through Hurricane Lane. Submitted photo

Extreme weather from Hurricane Lane caused a landslide that closed a road near Jade Vaughan’s home in Ninole. Submitted photo by Jade Vaughan

Neighbours try to minimize damage and flooding on a road in Ninole during the storm. Submitted photo by Jade Vaughan

Jade Vaughan and her boyfriend, Dylan, survey flood damage from the second to first floor of their home in Ninole. Submitted photo by Jade Vaughan

Just Posted

CSRD board approves pay increase for directors

Remuneration bylaw will come into effect after election of new board

CSRD looking into upgrades for Scotch Creek Water Plan

District beginning feasibility study for future upgrades

Race is on for Shuswap late-run sockeye salmon

New estimates say about 750,000 sockeye will spawn on the Adams River, similar to 2014 dominant run

Salmon Arm library to undergo upgrades over the winter

New meeting space planned for Okanagan Regional Library’s Salmon Arm branch

Boil water notice lifted for Falkland

The boil water notice for the Falkland Water System has been rescinded

Your weekend weather update

Rain continues to move right across the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Low risk associated with case of pneumococcal disease in the South Okanagan

No identified risk to the public from recent case of pneumococcal disease with associated meningitis

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read