Pro surfer Kai Lenny has stepped up in a major way after wildfires devastated Maui … something he says he was forced to do after help from federal and local government never came.
“For some of us, we were kind of sitting back, waiting for help to arrive, but nothing was happening. We were sort of in shock,” the 30-year-old Maui resident told CBS News.
Lenny, born and raised in Hawaii (Paia, Maui County), says he began receiving requests for assistance and knew he had to help.
“When I started getting texts and messages from friends on the other side saying, ‘Hey, no one is here. Do you know anyone you can call? Can you help us?'”
That’s when Kai and other locals started collecting resources, including jet skis and charter planes to transport supplies like clothing, medicine, and food.
Inexplicably, Lenny says the government initially intervened, blocking the airplane from transporting medicine like Insulin … before ultimately relenting and approving the delivery.
As for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the organization says they have 300 people on the ground in Maui. The Red Cross also says they have 250 disaster workers in the area, too.
Despite what FEMA claims, Kai says he hasn’t personally seen a government presence.
“I haven’t seen one state, one county, one federal official at any one of the donation hubs where people are most suffering.”
The death toll has already reached 99 people, but there are fears it will rise sharply in the coming days, as many people are still missing. Over one thousand structures have also burned to the ground, and the community is shaken.
“At one moment you’re in beautiful Hawaii, and it’s just another great day, and the next, this amazing tragedy occurs, and it’s so violent, I don’t know what to do. I haven’t prepared for a whole town going up in flames.”
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