KALAHEO — Kalaheo resident Giorgio Naranjo vividly recalls his experience with Hurricane ‘Iniki.
‘Iniki caused an estimated $3.1 billion in damages, and was rated a Category 4 hurricane. Naranjo doesn’t remember much that wasn’t ravaged by the hurricane that packed winds of 145 miles per hour.
Naranjo, who was a resident of Hanapepe in 1992 and eventually relocated to Kalaheo, didn’t lose his home, but remembers the destruction.
“It was pretty bad because everything got destroyed, and there wasn’t one telephone post standing,” Naranjo said.
Naranjo, who continued to drill screws into playwood to cover windows at his home and otherwise seal up his house while he talked, really wanted to secure everything getting ready for Douglas’ arrival early this morning. He said he was taking precautions, but wasn’t very worried.
He lives two miles from the ocean 400 feet above sea level.
Because Douglas was predicted to skirt Kaua‘i as a Category 1 storm, Naranjo wasn’t too concerned.
Despite his lack of concern, National Weather Service Meteorologist Eric Lau urged residents to remain vigilant.
Douglas continued its north-northwest trajectory late Sunday, packing projected winds of 85 miles per hour and moving at a speed of 16 miles per hour.
Dangerous surf was projected, as high as 15 to 20 feet on the eastern and northern shores, as the hurricane moved toward Kaua‘i Sunday.
Heavy rainfall was predicted for all the islands, with upwards of three to six inches in areas near mountains and elevated terrain, with life-threatening landslides and rapid water rises.
Lau said this storm has been fairly good thus far as it continued to make its trajectory towards Kaua‘i Sunday afternoon.
“Douglas has been well-behaved in the past few days, and it is consistent with the trajectory towards the north-northwest,” Lau said.
The NWS issued a hurricane warning for Kaua’i and Ni’ihau, with high-surf and flash-flood warnings for the islands.
A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
Forecasters say Hurricane Douglas was projected to bring damaging winds, heavy rainfall and high surf to parts of the island today. There was the potential for rain and winds from 74 to 110 mph. The NWS urged immediate preparation for the storm.
Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.