A Lawrence couple escaped harm from Hurricane Iniki on Friday after the storm ravaged the Hawaiian island of Kauai where they were staying.
Lawrence resident Bob Harrison said he heard on Sunday night from his son, Phil, a local Realtor. Phil Harrison reported that he and his wife, Beth, were spared the fury of the storm on Kauai's east side. The Harrisons rode the storm out in an armory and said the response to the storm was well organized.
Phil Harrison said he had heard of few injuries or deaths from the storm, despite severe damage on the south and north ends of the island. Phil Harrison also said that neither his house nor the Kinipopo Shopping Center he owns suffered severe damage.
Bob Harrison said he heard from his son via a shortwave transmission from Kauai to California that was relayed to Lawrence through a "phone pack." This arrangement allowed Bob Harrison to hear his son talk in a one-way conversation.
For the time being, it could be difficult for people to find out about relatives who were in Kauai when the hurricane struck.
A spokesman for the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., said local Red Cross chapters usually have a Disaster Welfare Inquiry (DWI) program in place that people can use to check on the well-being of immediate family members.
However, he said, there is a moratorium on the service at present. While outgoing calls can be made from Kauai, the island at present cannot receive incoming calls.
Still, the spokesman said, people trying to reach relatives in Kauai should contact their local American Red Cross if they wish to use DWI once the moratorium is lifted. The local chapter of the American Red Cross can be reached by calling 843-3550.