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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, April 1, 2006

Woman, dog, parrot rescued by firefighters

 •  'It felt like the sky was falling'

By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Windward O'ahu Writer

WAIMANALO Chelsea Kentris, 21, tried watching TV to ignore the heavy rain, thunder and lightning that struck O'ahu yesterday, but when bugs started crawling through the floor of her Saddle City Road home, near Bellows Air Force Station, she knew she was in trouble.

A quick check outside revealed the worst: her car was submerged in 5 feet of water, Kentris said. With a 45-pound dog and a pet macaw, Kentris said, she didn't feel like she could just swim out.

"I'm an OK swimmer, but I wasn't going to leave my dog and bird," she said. "I really didn't know what to do. I freaked."

A call to 911 brought the Ho-nolulu Fire Department crew from the Olomana Fire Station.

Capt. Robert Reynolds said the woman wasn't in danger although she was trapped. At first, she didn't want to leave, but she changed her mind, and the crew was able to borrow a boat from some neighbors and brought Kentris, her dog, Starbuck, and parrot, Kona, to drier ground.

"It wasn't really a big deal," Reynolds said.

Kentris said she didn't know where the boat owners had come from. They told her they just came from the beach, she said.

"They really came out of nowhere," she said. "I was very grateful. I don't know if I would have gotten out."

Kentris said a nearby stream overflowed and in a very short time flooded the low-lying area where she lives. Water was coming into the house, but she thought the water had quit rising by the time she left.

Things in the house were probably OK, but everything outside "got swept away," she said.

Kentris said things could have been worse. "The whole house could have gotten washed away, and I could have been sleeping," she said. "I would have been dead."

Reach Eloise Aguiar at eaguiar@honoluluadvertiser.com.