MAUI, HI -- Hurricane Lane is bearing down on Hawaii. Downgraded to a category 3 hurricane overnight, Thursday, then category 2, Friday morning. The storm is moving slowly and flooding the islands.
For a Bend pastor and his wife on vacation in Maui, this week, the storm has given the term "trip of a lifetime" all new meaning. Allesha Looney says once they realized the severity of the storm, earlier this week, they were willing to cut the trip short; they packed up and rushed to the airport - along with what seemed like everyone else, "There is no single seat available anywhere. We begged the airlines, ‘Please! We’ll go anywhere. We don’t care how much it costs; we don’t care when; we don’t necessarily have to go back to Portland'." Their resort is on the west side of the island, directly in the path of the storm. She told KBND News Thursday that if they stayed, they risked not being able to get to their confirmed flight, Saturday, "The main highway that we need to take over to the airport runs right against the shoreline and there’s already been lots of surf coming up over the cement walls on to the road and everybody here is fully anticipating that that highway is going to be completely flooded with the potential of landslides." Through friends of friends, they found a house to stay at Thursday night, on higher ground, on the east side of the island. The couple acknowledges that the weather could hinder their ability to fly out, even with confirmed tickets.
Pastor Danny Looney says once they realized they'd need to hunker down, they asked locals what to expect, "I said, ‘ya know, what should we do about our rental car?’ And he said, ‘well, it’s going to be under water, so good thing you have insurance'."
They’re trying to make the most of it. They say they managed to squeeze in a zipline adventure and a swim with sea turtles, before bracing for the storm. Allesha says, "Neither of us have ever been to Hawaii, we’ve never been on vacation without kids. This was going to be our ‘trip of a lifetime.’ Which it has been." Danny adds, "It’s been amazing! I’m so excited to be able to get through this with Allesha and just have stories to call for years to come. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get her back in Hawaii."
to listen to our conversation with Allesha Looney, as the storm moved in Friday morning.