By Jeff King
Although the Central Pacific Hurricane season doesn’t officially begin until this Monday, June 1, Hurricane Andres has come a callin’ early. The Category Three maelstrom is spinning forcefully about 700 miles west-southwest of Baja California. Because of the relative distance from any significant “targets,” the Central Pacific Hurricane Center has issued no coastal watches or warnings at this time.
As of 5 p.m. HST today, the center of Hurricane Andres was located near latitude 15.1 North, longitude 116.8 West. Andres is moving toward the northwest near seven mph (11 km/h). A turn toward the west- northwest is likely by Sunday. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 110 mph (175 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual weakening is forecast during the next couple of days. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 160 miles (260 km).
Only one of the dozen or so forecast hurricane models predicts a storm powerful enough to reach Hawai’i. The other track paths show a remnant low weather system that could bring stronger than usual trade winds by late next week – and a possible bump in surf size along east and south facing shores.
Recently honored for his excellence in preparing us for hurricane season, Maui weather guru Glenn James offers this forecast for the upcoming storm season: “The Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) is predicting a busy storm season this year, which runs from June through the end of November in our area. In their pre-season press conference they predicted 5 to 8 tropical cyclones could form in the Central Pacific basin this year. The normal number is 4-5 tropical systems. The busiest months for hurricanes are July thorough October, and models point to a 70 percent chance for an above normal season…because of the strengthening El Nino conditions.”
EVENT: The National Weather Service has ISSUED a HIGH SURF ADVISORY for South facing shores of Maui County in effect from 6 AM Sunday until 6 PM Monday.
A High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing rip currents and localized beach erosion.
EFFECTS: A powerful low pressure system in the south pacific generated a large swell that will impact the Hawaiian Islands the next couple of days.
Expect surf of 6 to 10 feet with some higher sets along south facing shores. The swell will build tonight through Sunday, peaking on Monday, then slowly diminishing.
Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: EXPECT STRONG BREAKING WAVES, SHORE BREAK, AND STRONG LONGSHORE AND RIP CURRENTS, MAKING SWIMMING DIFFICULT AND DANGEROUS. KNOW YOUR LIMITS AND SEEK OCEAN RECREATION AREAS BEST SUITED FOR YOUR ABILITIES. BEACHGOERS, SWIMMERS, AND SURFERS SHOULD HEED ALL ADVICE GIVEN BY OCEAN SAFETY OFFICIALS AND EXERCISE CAUTION. BOATERS SHOULD EXPECT SURFERS AND BODY BOARDERS UTILIZING HARBOR CHANNELS TO ACCESS SURFING AREAS.
INFORMATION: Maui Civil Defense Agency will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio for any updates. NOAA Weather broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather internet services can be found at www.weather.gov/hawaii.
Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200. This same notification can be found on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov.
KAILUA-KONA – A Kona fishing charter boat captain died today after being fatally injured by a broadbill swordfish he had just speared in Honokohau small boat harbor on Hawaii Island.
A week ago, today, on May 22 at 1:13 p.m. a most gruesome discovery happened at the Kahului Wastewater Treatment Plant. A county worker observed what appeared to be a human fetus in the wastewater catchment receptacle.Police responded to the location and confirmed that it was a fetus.
The fetus was approximately seven inches in length, however, the gender was undetermined. The location of where the fetus originated from is also unknown.
The MPD Criminal Investigation Division took over the investigation and conferred with the Prosecutor’s Office. The case was deemed non-criminal in nature. According to the Hawaii Revised Statute (707-700) the definition states that a “Person” means a human being who has been born and is alive.
Maui Police say a full autopsy could not be conducted on the fetus due to its size. An examination by the Medical Examiner’s Office determined the fetus could not have survived outside of the womb. Its presence at the Waste Water Plant was most likely the result of a miscarriage being flushed into the sewage system.
No other information is available.
HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) and Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE), a non-profit organization, jointly announce that the parties settled a lawsuit yesterday regarding the translation of driver’s examinations required for Hawaii residents to obtain a license.
FACE filed a lawsuit in federal court in September 2013, alleging HDOT discriminated against foreign-born residents of Hawai’i by not offering a translated exam for a period of more than five years after previously existing translations were removed from service when additional questions needed to be added to the exam.
Throughout the case, and even with the settlement, HDOT disputed that there was any discriminatory motive involved in decision-making about the translated exams. “HDOT and our employees have always been committed to serving all of Hawaiʻi’s residents regardless of who they are or where they are from,” said HDOT Director Ford Fuchigami. HDOT currently offers the examination in thirteen languages, making Hawaii the only U.S. State with fewer than two million people to offer the exam in more than ten languages and the only state to offer the exam in a native language, Hawaiian. “We are proud of our current language access program and are dedicated to a positive and proactive approach to language access and will continue to look at additional ways to ensure that those with limited English skills can safely drive on our roads.”
FACE is pleased with the outcome and the commitment to keeping translations in place over the long-term. “This resolution is an answer to our prayers,” said FACE organizer reverend Tasha Kama, a minister at Christian Ministry Church in Wailuku. “It takes all of our families-local and immigrant-to make Hawaii work. The more languages and cultures included in our policies, the stronger we are as a state. We appreciate the opportunity to work closely with the Hawaii DOT to further language access for all our people.”
“HDOT is committed to ensuring all drivers have the knowledge and skills to drive safely on Hawaii’s roads,” said Director Fuchigami.
United States District Court Judge Susan Oki Mollway approved the settlement.
A Kahului teen is in critical condition today after being struck by a car Tuesday night.
Maui Police report that a 2006 Toyota Corolla sedan was travelling south along South Papa Street at around 8:40 p.m. The 40 year-old driver failed to see the teen – who was walking within a marked crosswalk at the Kea Street intersection. The 16 year-old boy sustained life-threatening injuries and was taken to Maui Memorial Medicsl Center in critical condition.
The Toyota driver was wearing a seat belt. Air bags did not deploy. The involvement of speed, drugs and alcohol have not been determined. The accident remains under investigation.
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