Red Cross opens shelter at Old Kona Airport Park

  • Red Cross volunteer Franz Weber greets a group heading into the shelter at Old Kona Airport Park in Kailua-Kona Sunday afternoon. (Tom Linder/West Hawaii Today)

The Red Cross has opened up a shelter at Old Kona Airport Park in Kailua-Kona for evacuees from the Mana Road wildland fire in South Kohala.

Evacuees are advised by the Red Cross to bring food, water, PPE and chairs.

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“An evacuation shelter provides a dry roof over your head and a safe haven,” said Red Cross worker Laury Scott. “Masks are required in the shelter; we will be doing our best to maintain social distancing within the shelter. We’ll be open 24/7 from now until the time the county decides to close the shelter.”

It’s currently unclear how many people are expected to arrive at the shelter. As of 3:30 p.m. Sunday, dozens of vehicles have already arrived.

“I honestly don’t know how many people to expect,” said Scott. “It will partly depend on the procedures up there. I’m told that there was an evacuation order issued for Waikoloa Village; there’s a lot of people in Waikoloa Village.”

According to Hawaii County, Waikoloa Road and Hulu Street are both open for evacuation. Buses are available at Waikoloa Elementary and Village Golf Course. Highway 190 between Lalamilo Farm Road and Waikoloa Road is closed.

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Many indicated they plan to sleep in their cars; those planning to sleep inside the shelter are advised to bring bedding of some sort.

Restrooms and a limited amount of water will be provided, as well. While service animals are welcomed inside the shelter, any other animals are not.

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