Operation Chill bringing hope to Puna

Published On: Aug 13 2014 07:27:39 PM HST   Updated On: Aug 13 2014 09:09:03 PM HST

Nearly a week after Iselle hit, storm-battered residents on the Big Island are finding their own ways to stay cool as crews bring in the "big boys" to beef-up support.

Click here to watch Lara Yamada's report.

"We're luckier than a lot because we still have water," said a Big Island resident.

But with sporadic waves of relief, residents are mobilizing luck and ingenuity, especially when it comes to their must-have list.

"In the paper, it said this morning they're going to stop with the ice distribution and a lot of people don't have water either," said Kathy, another resident on the PunaWeb blog. "We used zip-lock gallon freezer bags, filled it with water and layered the bottom of our freezer. Better than plastic bottles.

"The bladder of a wine box makes a good shower, especially the ones with a rubber stopper," said Carry, a Big Island resident.

They call it Operation Chill and it's helping too.

On a C-17 plane, the Hawaii Air National Guard's 204th Airlift Squadron loaded up 55,000 pounds of ice and 35,000 pounds of other equipment Tuesday night to deliver to the Big Island.

"I lucked out. I got to Longs when the ice truck guy showed up," said a resident.

It's getting there that is the big challenge with the mess, the distance and the lack of power. In the meantime, Terracore is offering a tip:

"Look to see if the freezer is so crammed with stuff that it's blocking the vents, keeping cool air from reaching the fridge."

Help from others who are helping themselves. Residents like Kathy are making room for reflection.

"A big battery charged our kitchen lights for a week. We're done with candles. A year ago during a storm, a candle knocked over, burned our house down and two families almost died."

Tough lesson learned.

PHOTOS: Iselle storm damage, preps

Click here for photos of the damage left by Tropical Storm Iselle.


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