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Maui Reopens Ahead of Schedule

You are currently viewing Maui Reopens Ahead of Schedule
The beauty of Maui is being restored.
  • Post category:News

Earlier this year, tragedy struck Hawaii as Maui was engulfed in flames, hurting the heart of the state. Wildfires spread across a few of the islands, most largely hitting Maui. The island, which is the state’s biggest when it comes to tourism, was greatly devasted by the fires. This destruction was not just massively damaging to the environment and infrastructure on the island, but also severely hurt the island’s economy and the state overall. Tourism is the biggest industry on the island and as a result of the fires, the island had to close down just about everything. Every resort was closed to the public, some even serving as temporary homes for those who were displaced after their home was destroyed in the fires. If anything was open for public access, tourists were highly encouraged to stay away from the island anyway, which meant the economy was at a standstill.

Hope is turning though as the island is fully reopening ahead of the originally expected schedule.

When the rebuilding and repairing stage started, Maui was divided into zones meant to help organize the reconstruction and allow for areas to open as they were ready. As of this past Tuesday, December 12th, all zones in the fire disaster area have been completed and will officially be reopening. The zones cover the Lahaina Wildfire Disaster Area, which spans nearly 2,170 acres. The land was divided into 83 different zones for the five-mile stretch of land. This completion was done a week ahead of the originally set schedule, one that people even had doubts would be enough time.

Because of the way the land was zoned, bits and pieces have been reopening starting in September. The first zone set in a residential area reopened, allowing residents back into their homes, on September 25th and 26th. This zone was the stretch of homes on Kaniau Road. Following this reopening, additional zones have occasionally been opening up as the Maui County officials along with state and federal agencies all give their authorization that the zone meets requirements for residents to return home.

A lot of the work has amazingly been done by groups of volunteers.

As each zone opens, there are still some restrictions in place, especially in the beginning. Once everyone has safely been given access to the zone, they begin to loosen the reigns, but at first there are ID checkpoints and vehicle checks that residents go through. On the first day of reentry, volunteers fill the streets to offer support to those returning home after such devasting communal losses.

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