ROCHESTER, Mass. (WPRI) — Search and rescue teams are still on the ground on the Hawaiian island of Maui looking for survivors after devastating fires swept through.
Beth McLeod, who lives in Rochester, MA has family among the missing. Her children’s grandmother Linda Vaikeli lives in Lahaina, which has been decimated by the wildfires.
With cell service down on the island, they haven’t been able to contact her.
“Basically where she lived, their apartment complex is gone,” McLeod said. “Everything is pretty much gone.”
She said Vaikeli was last seen by her husband Tuesday when he left their home to go to an appointment on the other side of the island.
“Trying to come home after the appointment is when all the roads were closed,” McLeod said. “So he couldn’t get back into town.”
Every call to Vaikeli’s phone goes to voicemail, McLeod said, and it’s unclear if she was evacuated or not.
“I’m just worried about [her] health,” McLeod said. “She’s diabetic … she does walk with a cane, if not a walker at this point. I’m just concerned that she was able to get out.”
McLeod said she’s also been in touch with teams from the Red Cross.
“I just hope that someone was able to get to her, help her to evacuate,” she said.
12 News also spoke to Linda’s son Jason Musgrove and his friend Veronica Friday night. He said they keep getting referred to the Red Cross, which won’t give them any information. They’ve tried calling shelters and police, but Jason said the shelters they’re usually closed by 5 p.m. and won’t answer their calls.
“The unknown is the hardest part of it all,” Jason said. “I just want an answer either way… we’re not the only family that feels this way right now.”
“That’s what really frustrates us, the feeling of hopelessness,” Veronica added.
As hours turn into days, Beth’s concerns keep growing. But one positive, she said, is seeing the outpouring of support for the island.
“That aloha spirit is strong and people are coming together, but there’s so much that needs to be done,” she said.
If you want to be a part of those relief efforts, click here to learn how.