The situation in Maui is unbelievably tragic and now the electric company could have some culpability in it

August 17 – The wildfires began last week in Maui, spurred on by 60 mile-per-hour winds from a recent hurricane, and according to reports, flames seemed to move across the ground in almost the blink of an eye. 

People were literally attempting to outrun the burning homes and trees. Reports said numerous people jumped into the water to avoid being burned. 

Photos of the fires are utterly devastating. 

At this point, the fires have left 111 people dead, with search efforts still underway to find at least 1,000 missing people. The threat of another major storm headed toward the islands makes the searching even more imperative, as destruction from winds and rain could make finding people nearly impossible. 

Miles and miles of land and homes are just ash. It is, hands down, the deadliest fire in the US in the last 100 years. 

The cause for the wild fires is, of now, still undetermined.  

Recently, however, news has come to light that perhaps Hawaiian Electric – the leading company for electric power on the island – may have not done their due diligence over the years to make sure their equipment was protected from a threat of this very nature. 

Alleged decisions were made to delay grid modernization that may have prevented the horrific devastation the island is currently facing. 

If an investigation can show negligence, could Hawaiian Electric be sued? 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “I don’t know if this could virtually bankrupt them. I mean, we saw a similar scenario years ago in California with one of the power companies out there and as I recall, that power company had to pay billions and billions of dollars in restitution. This Hawaiian Electric case is sounding like a similar scenario. They knew for years about these problems. It sounds like there’s now a new theory that these downed wires in the hurricane might have been the spark that created the wildfire and the power company should have shut off that power well in advance. This is a tragic situation. The reporting is there are well over 1,000 people still missing. And unfortunately, it’s likely most, if not all, of those missing people are going to be confirmed dead over the next few days. So you’re looking at a disaster here that may have well over 1,000 deaths and parts of that Hawaiian Island are just decimated. You wonder if they’ll even be able to rebuild it, it’s been so damaged.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM asked, “If they go bankrupt, who takes over then? I mean, it’s their infrastructure, what happens to them? What are you going to do?” 

Barkdoll said, “My guess is the court would appoint some kind of what they call a receivership because you’re right, you can’t just have someone come in and replace the infrastructure. Maybe another power company would come in and take over those assets and get it ramped up again. Apparently much of that island still does not have power. Their cell service is down. That has also created a challenge for search teams and all these missing people because there’s just no communication.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “Will that be proven? It almost seems like yeah, because they already have releasing videos where you can see line sparking and then shortly later the flames in a couple of different locations. So this sounds very, very bad in terms of them failing and I think it’s already absolutely known they did not heed the warnings. They did not power these lines or take some of them offline like they should have. It seems like it was failure after failure after failure because supposedly there’s warning systems, but most people never received any warning about this. The first time they knew something was going on was when they woke up and could smell smoke, after they lost power, they lost their cell phone. And then they were just on their own. I think really there’s so many things to look into here. Of course, Joe Biden reacted horribly to this, giving no comment when people asked him about what’s going on in Hawaii. If the press acted the same as they did with George Bush, this probably would be his Katrina moment, but they will not. The mainstream media will find excuses for him. And the fact that there’s people on the ground now saying we’re getting no state and federal help still after all this time.”

Barkdoll said, “Biden is going to be there on Monday. That in and of itself is controversial because on one hand, people want him to do something but then I saw some reporting people on the ground in Hawaii don’t want him there. They think it’s a distraction, and will interfere with the cleanup and rescue efforts. But here’s one takeaway for people listening well, how does this affect us locally? The cleanup costs out there and there will undoubtedly be some federal money going there, it’ll easily be into the tens of billions of dollars. So taxpayers in some ways are going to be burdened by that. You might also see some effects from insurance companies because the insurance companies are going to need to spread that risk and that loss around to everyone that holds a policy under their umbrella in the United States. And again, the costs are just going to be massive when this is all said and done.”

United States law says $700 is the amount of damage that FEMA pays to people affected by disasters. 

Ryan demanded, “Then you cancel this Ukraine stuff now. Seven hundred dollars for everybody in that area, and I’ve got to see $24 billion. He’s got a set on him to think that, okay, we’re going to send all this money which is unaccounted for, $24 billion to Ukraine, and we’re not going to take care of our own. You’ve got to be kidding. If the Republicans don’t have the brainpower to go, hold it. Here’s your easy stop on this. Either you give us all the accounting and you give us all the books and you tell us every dollar that’s been paid out in Ukraine, or you take this $24 billion and you send the checks right to Hawaii.”

Barkdoll said, “Wouldn’t we rather see some of this foreign aid money going to help our own people in Hawaii? If you listen to the interviews on the ground in Hawaii, a lot of these families are saying yeah, they got their $700 check. Well, that’s nothing for them. I mean, that might last them a few days out there. They need much more help than $700.”