Due to Hurricane Ignacio, a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Hawaii County. Hurricane Ignacio is currently located about 625 miles east-southeast of Hilo and moving west-northwest at 8 miles per hour as a category 3 hurricane. Ignacio is expected to weaken beginning Sunday and the state could begin to feel the impacts as early as Sunday evening. The 11 a.m. update shows a track even farther north than earlier models. Today Mayor Alan Arakawa signed an emergency proclamation, effective 11:00 a.m. today, in anticipation of the arrival of Tropical Cyclone Ignacio. The National Weather Service (NWS) has advised that although Ignacio’s track is still uncertain, the system has the potential to cause widespread damage throughout Maui County.
The proclamation recognizes the need for government agencies and representatives from the private sector to mobilize and provide immediate services to our island residents and to mitigate hazardous situations in advance of the weather effects from Tropical Cyclone Ignacio such as sustained tropical storm force winds and the potential for hurricane force winds, heavy rains, potential lightning, flooding, and extremely high surf and storm surge.
“I urge all citizens to prepare their homes, family members and pets for the potential impacts of Ignacio,” said Mayor Arakawa. “Now is the time to stock up on seven days of water and non-perishable food supplies, and to secure or move inside any loose objects around your home that could become airborne missiles. Make sure you have on-hand fresh batteries for your radios and flashlights, and keep your vehicles fully fueled.”
Mayor Arakawa also encouraged residents to visit the County website for updates and to sign up for Maka‘ala, the County’s new emergency alert system, at www.mauicounty.gov. “It’s important that we stay safe, and stay connected,” he said.
For general preparedness information, visit the Civil Defense webpage at www.mauicounty.gov/civildefense.
Governor David Ige signed a similar document Friday – encouraging all residents and visitors to be vigilant and prepared. Hawaii Tourism Authority is also mobilizing to prepare for the worst – and hope for the best.
For official updates, we recommend regularly checking the following websites, as well as tuning in to local broadcasts for information and instructions on Ignacio:
- Central Pacific Hurricane Center: www.weather.gov/cphc
- Hawaii Emergency Management Agency: http://www.scd.hawaii.gov/
For visitor related information and a list of closures due to the weather, please visit the ‘Special Alert’ section of the HTA website www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/news/special-alert.
For travel safety tips, please visit the HTA’s Travel Smart Hawaii website at www.travelsmarthawaii.com and download the Travel Safety Brochure, which is available in English, Japanese, Korean and Chinese. We recommend familiarizing visitors with this information.
We also encourage all of our industry partners to ensure that your crisis plans are current for the safety of our visitors as well as your employees. It is important that we begin to prepare for its potential impacts.
The HTA will continue to provide any storm-related updates that may impact visitors. If you or any of your staff wish to receive our updates, please sign up at www.hawaiitourismauthority.org.