This post is deemed accurate as of 5pm August 7th, 2014. Please listen to the radio for the most updated information on the storm and shelters opening/closing.
As most of you know, back-to-back hurricanes Iselle and Julio are headed straight for the Hawaiian Islands, the first direct hit since Hurricane Iniki in 1992. While it’s still too early to tell what damage will be done by the storms, it’s never too early to be prepared. Please stay tuned for the latest updates and details as we help to keep you informed.
At 6:24am this morning, Hawaii’s Big Island was struck with a 4.5 magnitude earthquake approximately 7 miles from Waimea. The earthquake caused no major damage and no threat of tsunami.
Hawaiian Airlines, American Airlines, Island Air, Mokulele, United Airlines and US Airways have all made flight cancellations. Anyone scheduled to travel through the weekend is advised to contact the airline directly to confirm flight status and make necessary changes.
UPDATE: Turns out we were very lucky on Maui, and we didn’t see much damage. In fact, the weather was pretty good on some parts of the island, as can be seen with this Olowalu Wedding.
[box type=”warning”] For the most updated, real-time information from people on the islands, we recommend using Twitter and following the conversation by searching all posts and Top Posts for #iselle. [/box]
National Weather Service forecasters say that Iselle, a Category 1, is on track to hit the Big Island as a hurricane, then weaken slightly as it passes over other islands. It is expected to begin as early as 4pm on Thursday with 60-70 mph winds, gusts up to 85 mph, 5-8″ of rain and 1-3 ft storm surge for Hilo to Kau. It is expected to pass south of all other islands as a tropical storm late Thursday and Friday.
Updates as of 2pm: Hurricane Iselle is located about 150 miles ESE of Hilo and moving WNW at 17 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, slightly higher than the 11am update. Iselle remains a Category 1 hurricane.
Wind Gusts as of 2pm: Kamuela/Waimea – 50 mph, Volcano Area – 45 mph, Hilo – 35 mph, Kona Airport – 35 mph, Mauna Kea – 55 mph
Designated Public Shelters include:
- Laupahoehoe School, Kohala High & Elementary in Kapaau, Kealakehe High in Kailua-Kona (pet friendly), Konawaena High in Kealakekua (pet friendly), Hilo High (pet friendly), Waiakea High in Hilo (pet friendly), Keaau High (pet friendly), Pahoa High & Intermediate (pet friendly), Honokaa High & Intermediate (pet friendly), Kau High in Pahala (pet friendly), and Waikoloa Elementary in Waikoloa Village
By the time Iselle hits Maui, it is expected to be a tropical storm with the center closest point hitting at 5am on Friday. It is expected to last for more than 8 hours with 45-55 mph winds, gusts up to 65 mph, 5-8″ of rain and 1-2 ft storm surge. Damaging surf is expected on east and south shores beginning late this evening. The combination of high surf and tide will potentially cause flooding in low-lying areas while the rain will potentially lead to flash flooding.
Update as of 5pm Thursday: Iselle is 210 miles ESE of Kahului, Maui. It is recommended to stay off all roadways after 9pm due to strong wind, rain and possible flash flooding.
Maui County has closed the following areas until further notice:
- State Reserves & Trails: Polipoli State Park, natural area reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, forest reserves, Na Ala Hele hiking trails, game management areas (including those on Lanai)
- Haleakala National Park: Summit and Kipahulu districts of Haleakala National Park, including the Thursday Waikamoi hike and Saturday cultural demonstrations
- County Parks: County swimming pools, Waiehu Golf Course, community centers, county beach parks, CORA-permitted (commercial) activities, all other county parks
- All Public Schools & Catholic Schools: Closed Thursday and Friday
- UH Maui College & Education Centers: Closed Thursday, Friday and during the weekend, including those in Lahaina, Hana, Molokai and Lanai
- Maui Interscholastic League
- All Non-Emergency County Employees: Possible exception for county elections employees
- County of Maui Trash Collection: No curbside trash service on Friday
- State Offices: Excluding departmental disaster/emergency coordinators, disaster response workers, hospital and correctional workers
- State Courthouses & Judiciary Offices
- Department of Agriculture Inspection Offices
- Queen Ka’ahumanu Center
- Water Conservation Advisory
- Hawaii Gas Advisory
- First Hawaiian Bank Branches: Expected to open on Friday once it has been deemed safe
- Maui Bus Services
- Aloha Recycling
- Kahului, Molokai & Lanai Ports
Designated Public Shelters include:
- Baldwin High in Wailuku, Lokelani Intermediate in Kihei (pet friendly), Kekaulike High in Upcountry, Hana High & Elementary, Molokai High, Kilohana Elementary on Molokai (open to the public beginning Thursday at 1:00pm)
- Lahaina Civic Center (open to the public beginning Thursday afternoon; pet friendly)
- Please bring the following, as it will not be provided: water, food, sleeping items, toiletry items, extra clothing
Oahu is currently under a tropical storm warning with expected winds of 40-50 mph, gusts up to 50 mph and 4-7″ of rain.
Designated Public Shelters include:
- Campbell High School at Ewa Beach, Kaimuki High School in Honolulu (pet friendly), Kaiser High School in Honolulu, McKinley High School in Honolulu, Castle High School in Kaneohe, Mililani High School, Pearl City High School (pet friendly), Waialua High School/Intermediate (pet friendly), Nanakuli High School/Middle in Waianae (pet friendly), and BYU-Hawaii (pet friendly) in Laie
Kauai is currently under a tropical storm warning with expected winds of 35-40 mph, gusts up to to 50 mph and 4-7″ of rain. There are currently no designated public shelters listed for Kauai.
Traveling closely behind Iselle is Julio, a Category 2, projected to hit the state on Sunday. As of 5am Thursday morning, Julio was located approximately 1,230 miles ESE of Hilo, 1,290 miles ESE of Kailua-Kona, 1,265 miles E of South Point, 1,325 miles ESE of Kahului, Maui, 1,380 miles ESE of Kaunakakaʻi, Molokai, 1,360 miles ESE of Lanai City, 1,425 miles ESE of Honolulu, 1,520 miles ESE of Lihue, Kauai, and 1,575 miles ESE of Niihau.
Update as of 5pm Thursday:Julio has now strengthened into a Category 3 Hurricane. Max winds are expected to reach 115 mph with possible higher gusts. Julio is currently located 1,060 miles E of Hilo, moving west at 16 mph. It is too early to tell for sure, but moisture might occur. At this point, the forecast track takes Julio N of the state late Saturday into Sunday, and it’s currently 1,150 miles E of Kahului, Maui.
Hurricane Safety Preparation
While residents are encouraged not to track the storm’s location too closely, as it could change direction, speed and intensity without warning, taking precautions to ensure your health and safety are always recommended.
The following hurricane and tropical storm precautions are recommended:
- Make sure all boats are securely moored or safely stored
- Board up windows when necessary
- Charge your cell phone
- Plan evacuation routes to a safe shelter
- Stay away from windows
- Keep an eye and ear on the latest updates of storm progress and changes in evacuation routes
- Never use charcoal grill or generator inside due to possible carbon monoxide poisoning
- Conserve water
- Set refrigerator to coldest setting in case of power outage
- Stay off the streets unless it’s an emergency
- Secure outside objects
- Stock up on emergency supplies, including water (1 gallon per person per day in a food-grade plastic container), non-perishable food, first aid kit, protective clothing, flashlights, batteries, non-prescription drugs, medications, cash, toilet paper, personal hygiene items, radio, manual can opener, family contact information, important documents and a full tank of gasoline
Mahalo for reading, and we wish everyone a safe time throughout the next few days.