By the time it reached Hawai`i island, Hurricane Iselle was barely hanging on to its status as a hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 74 miles per hour.
And yet it managed to turn large swaths of the rural district of Puna, on the southeastern quadrant of the island, into what appear from the air to be giant piles of kindling sticks. Those sticks are invariably trunks of albizia trees, anywhere from a foot to five feet in diameter.
For years, as the albizia grew taller, spreading their canopies over some of the most important arterial highways in the . . .
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