Let the Second Guessing Begin.
It’s the Basic Rule of disasters: The first order of business is to find someone to blame. We already have a number of candidates for the wild fires that destroyed more than 250 buildings in old Lahaina town here on Maui.
As it turns out, both Fire Chief Bradford Ventura and Emergency Management Agency Administrator Herbert Andaya were “off island”when this disaster struck. In fairness, I do not know where they were and if they were on official business. But knowing we were going to be brushed by a hurricane, it does seem to me that at least one of them should have headed home just in case.
But wait . . . there’s more!
Before someone at Maui Electric turned off the power in the Lahaina area, a number of utility poles had been blown down by the high winds. Obviously, active power lines, broken and lashing around in hurricane-force winds, were a significant factor in the fires that started.
But wait . . . there’s still more!
There have been reports today that in the areas of Lahaina where the fires started, a number of the fire hydrants produced no water when the fire fighters tried to tap them.
And so we have the electric company contributing to the growth of the fire, the water department withholding water to put out the damn fire and the two key guys off island.
And this afternoon, the governor announced that the number of people killed by the fire was approaching one hundred.