CLEVELAND (WJW) – Brittany Thorne, formerly of Westlake, Ohio, can see the wildfires from her back porch in Maui.
“We are kind of sandwiched between two fires. It all started with all the wind,” said Thorne.
The Northeast Ohio native was evacuated from her home in the upcountry section of the island Tuesday night.
“I moved out here in 2013 when my parents bought a house in Kula. I met my husband, got pregnant with my first. Here we are almost nine years later,” said Thorne.
Brittany and her mother own a wedding and event planning company that highlights Maui’s incredible sights.
“It’s horrific. Maui, we are a tourism industry, and now, to see everyone’s shops and livelihoods are destroyed. And people’s homes. I have several friends who have had their homes burn down,” said Thorne.
Brittany says the wildfires worsened due to Hurricane Dora. Some parts of the island are experiencing wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour.
Brittany said cell phone towers are down and there’s no power.
“I thought it was contained. All of a sudden, we had all these fires around us. I come to find out that Lahaina is the worst of it. We are talking about the most popular street in Maui is destroyed,” said Thorne.
Brittany’s parents left Maui about a week ago and returned home to Northeast Ohio. She says her mom is supposed to fly out of Cleveland first thing Thursday morning to return to Maui to help assess the damage.