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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

Tamitik Status of Women granted $500,000 to support housing construction project

The funds will be used to support the construction of second stage and affordable rental housing.

In Our Valley: Lois Godfrey

Godfrey has spent 50 years helping with the Girl Guides, and even more helping out in her community.

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read