‘Only Those Who Disobeyed Survived’: Some Maui Survivors Had To Ignore Local Government To Stay Alive

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Lillian Tweten Contributor
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Residents in West Maui faced a barricade that blocked the only paved exit out of town when they attempted to escape the raging wildfires, according to the Associated Press, forcing them to evade the authorities’ obstacles.

Residents encountered a gridlock caused by several Hawaiian Electric trucks that were replacing telephone poles along the road to Highway 30, and received instructions from electricians to turn back into Lahaina, AP reported. Some died in their cars while others swerved around the barricade or used dirt roads to escape. (RELATED: ‘We Are Suffering’: Maui Residents Slam Biden Response To Deadly Wildfires)

“It made no sense what they were doing,” Cole Millington, a resident, said, according to NBC News. “They could see the sky was black. They could see the city was on fire. They could see the wind was still whipping everything around. But they were already starting to plant new power poles.”

Many residents could not escape the traffic and abandoned their cars to jump in the Pacific, making the gridlock even worse, according to The Washington Post.

“The gridlock would have left us there when the firestorm came,” Kim Cuevas-Reyes, a resident who drove into the wrong lane to escape, said, according to AP. “I would have had to tell my children to jump into the ocean as well and be boiled alive by the flames or we would have just died from smoke inhalation and roasted in the car.”

The wildfires have burned approximately 2,170 acres in Lahaina, according to CBS News. There have been at least 115 deaths.

Hawaiian Electric did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for a comment.

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