10 a.m. Saturday Update
As Tropical Storm Darby “reloads” from daytime warming, the early bands of the system are impacting Maui. The National Weather Service issued a Flood Advisory for parts of the island at 10 a.m. Heavy rains are falling in and around Keanae in East Maui as well as windward slopes of Haleakala and the West Maui Maui Mountains.
That advisory is in effect until 1 p.m. today and may be extended. A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect through Sunday afternoon along with a High Surf Warning for east facing shores of Maui and Molokai. Also in effect are the Tropical Storm Warning – which means tropical storm conditions are expected or are occurring now. Those conditions include very strong winds (39 mph or greater – sustained – with higher gusts) very large surf and rainfall amounts that could reach double digits. For Maui, those conditions are possible within the next 24 hours.
For the latest updates, statements, maps, forecasts and storm images, go to Maui Weather Today. Island forecaster Glenn James’ decades of experience continues to be the most reliable source of conditions and the forecast.
Statewide, because of the uncertainty of what the storm might do, one air carrier is making it easier for traveler who need to make last minute changes. Island Air will waive reservation change fees and differences in fares for customers needing to change their travel plans due to Tropical Storm Darby. Effective immediately, customers ticketed for travel on Island Air now through this Monday will be permitted to change their reservations without charge to ticketed flights through August 1, 2016. Passengers with reservations are advised to check Island Air’s website at www.islandair.com or call the reservations desk to check on the status of scheduled flights prior to arriving at the airport.
The Coast Guard 14th District is closing all major ports in the state – from East to West – as the storm moves through. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COPT) closed Hawaii and Maui County ports to all traffic. All cargo operations in these ports are secured. Vessels transiting within the vicinity of the Hawaiian Island harbors should seek sheltered waters until storm conditions subside and the COTP has deemed the ports safe to reopen.
Current port closures:
- Hawaii County — Hilo Harbor, Kawaihae Harbor
- Maui County — Kahului; Kaumalapau, Lanai; Kaunakakai, Molokai
All ocean going commercial vessels and ocean going barges greater than 300 gross tons are expected to make preparations to leave the ports by the following times:
- Oahu – 8 p.m., July 23
- Kauai – 7 a.m., July 24
Once the storm has passed and the threat of severe weather has subsided, the Coast Guard, Army Corp of Engineers and State of Hawaii will jointly conduct surveys of channel blockage and prioritize steps to resume essential, then normal, vessel traffic. These steps are to minimize risk of damage to vessels and assess the conditions of channels, aids to navigation, waterfront facilities, piers and other infrastructure.
The COTP, in conjunction with the state DOT-Harbors in Hawaii, will begin sending Port Assessment Teams to accessible areas of the zone as soon as it is safe to do so over the weekend.
Maui County officials and Civil Defense are keeping their eye on the storm and taking as many precautions as they see fit. Parks are closed and overnight camping permits have been revoked during the storm. In addition, shelters are open for anyone displaced by the storm conditions.
Maui TV News will continue to update you on any and all facts and prognostications we come across through the storm – an unusual occurrence for Maui, even though we’re right in the middle of the pacific storm track.