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Disabled vet who sent harrowing pic of flames to family among 1,000 still missing after devastating Maui wildfires


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About 1,000 people are missing in the devastating Hawaii wildfire whose death toll has climbed to at least 55 – including a disabled veteran who sent his family a terrifying photo of raging flames near his home.

Gov. Josh Green told reporters Thursday night that around 1,000 people were still unaccounted for in what was becoming the deadliest disaster in the Aloha State’s history.

“It doesn’t mean that many have passed … we can’t contact them, we can’t know,” the governor explained of scenes of devastation that look “like a bomb” went off.

“​Here’s the challenge: there’s no power, no internet, no phone, no radio. You compound some of that. So when we’re speaking to our officers, we need them to get a (satellite) phone,” Green continued.

Even so, “We are seeing loss of life here,” he acknowledged.

“As you know, the number has been rising, and we will continue to see loss of life” along with “many hundreds of homes” obliterated.

“That’s going to take a great deal of time to recover from. But that’s why we come together. We come together to give comfort to people,” added Green.

The governor toured the historic town of Lahaina, which was decimated by the fire after more than 1,000 buildings were destroyed, Hawaii News Now reported.

“It’s a heartbreaking day. Without a doubt, what we saw is catastrophic,” Green said.

“When you see the full extent of the destruction in Lahaina, it will shock you. It does appear like a bomb and fire went off, if I may,” he said at the news conference.

“And all of the buildings virtually are gonna have to be rebuilt. It will be a new Lahaina that Maui builds in its own image, with its own values,” he said, as he called for hoteliers and homeowners to help the displaced.

“When you see the full extent of the destruction in Lahaina, it will shock you. It does appear like a bomb and fire went off, if I may,” he said at the news conference.

One family is desperately trying to locate a disabled veteran who evacuated his home on Wednesday.

Brittany Talley told CNN that her grandfather, Timm “TK” Williams Sr., 66, who uses a wheelchair and crutches, sent the family a dramatic photo of the fire creeping toward him in Maui as he was evacuating.

“He was attempting to make it to a shelter, but all of the roads were blocked,” Talley told the network. “​He would not be able to run or move quickly if needed to.”

At least 36 people have died in the wake of the Maui wildfires that started late Tuesday.

“We’ve still got dead bodies floating on the seawall,” one Lahaina resident told Hawaii News Now. “They’ve been sitting there since last night.”

The wildfires, fanned by strong winds have burned multiple buildings, forced evacuations, and caused power outages in several communities.

The National Weather Service said Hurricane Dora was partly to blame for the strong winds that knocked out power as night came. About 13,000 residents in Maui are without power, according to reports.

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