By Jeff King
Looking like an eerie and malevolent face peering toward space, the eyes of two hurricanes continue to rumble toward the Aloha State. Picture the image here – with Hilo just barely out of frame in the path of Madeline. As of 6 a.m. today, Kahului stands a 31 percent chance of encountering tropical storm conditions. At the very least, Maui and the Big Island will see large rainfall amounts, damaging east-shore surf and surge and high winds. Then there will be Lester, expected to pass by slightly north of Maui – which could bring high winds from the southwest and south.
Maui weather guru Glenn James offers the lastest and most accurate information on storms like these. Follow his track here.
Updated expected impacts from hurricane Madeline for Maui county and the Big Island, along with new wind speed probabilities based on the latest information provided in the 5 am Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) advisory.
Hurricane Madeline is forecast to approach the state from the east through tonight, with the latest Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecast bringing Madeline very close to the Big Island Wednesday through early Thursday. Based on the current track, strong damaging winds and very heavy rainfall is likely across the Big Island and Maui county. In addition, large and damaging surf is expected along east facing shores of the Big Island and Maui. Surf will begin to rise this afternoon, and reach dangerous levels later tonight through Wednesday night.
The chance for tropical storm conditions at Hana is 35 percent, at Kahului is 31 percent, at Lanai city is 32 percent, and at Kaunakakai is 25 percent. The onset of tropical storm conditions could occur as early as late Wednesday afternoon or Wednesday evening.
Although changes are still possible, the latest forecast is for sustained winds to remain below tropical storm force of 39 mph. Only a slight change in track to the north, could result in tropical storm force winds across portions of Maui county.
Large and damaging surf is expected along east facing shores of east Maui. Surf will build today, and peak at 12 to 18 feet tonight through Wednesday night. This may cause significant wave runup or damage to coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways. Powerful longshore and rip currents will be present at most beaches. Large breaking waves and strong currents may impact harbor entrances and channels causing challenging boat handling. Although surf heights will be lower along east facing shores of west Maui and Molokai, surf heights will reach advisory levels of 5 to 9 feet tonight through Wednesday night.
For those under a warning, your preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. In a tropical cyclone, conditions can change quickly. Evacuate if directed to do so by local officials, or if your home is vulnerable to high winds or flooding. Cancel any beach activities until further notice. Persons living near the shore should be prepared to evacuate quickly should building surf threaten.
People under a watch should continue making preparations and listen for possible warnings.
Closely monitor NOAA weather radio or other local news outlets for official storm information. Listen for possible changes to the forecast.
Loose objects such as lawn furniture, garbage cans, and other items should be secured or stored indoors. Have supplies on hand and be ready for power outages. Evacuate if ordered by local officials.
The next local statement will be issued around 12:30 pm HST today, or sooner if conditions warrant.
A 7.7 magnitude earthquake rumbled moments ago near the deep-water Marianas Trench. The Pacific Tsunami Center says that no Pacific-wide tsunami was generated by the event and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii.
No word on damages to any land area.
By Jeff King
As Tropical Storm Darby lumbers northwestward, east Maui continues to bear the brunt of an otherwise relatively mellow cyclone. Maui County officials have closed Hana Highway near Nahiku because of landslides and heavy rains. Also, Pi’ilani Highway in the area of Kaupo has been closed because of downed trees. Non essential travel is being strongly discouraged.
As of 5 a.m. today, Darby remained a tropical storm but weakening. The center was about 100 miles south of Maui with movement to the WNW at about 9 mph. The brunt of the system is offshore west of the Big Island. In fact, the Big Island is now out of the tropical storm watch. Darby is expected to weaken further to the status of a tropical depression by Monday.
As of 8 a.m. Maui Electric crews are responding to spotty power outages in east and Upcountry Maui but no major power failures have been reported this morning.
Winds – gusty at times – continue to threaten power lines in heavily forested areas but the sustained winds associated with tropical storms have generally spared most of the state. On the big island, South Point and Pahoa have received gusts in excess of 50 mph as did Kaupo in East Maui but those winds have since subsided tremendously.
Forecasters say Darby may not be done yet. The storm’s predicted turn to the northwest may be starting this morning. If so, look for locally strong gusty winds and potential flooding. Darby is expected to leave Maui County by tonight.
Wailuku – Tropical Storm Darby has turned south but is still on track to hit Maui this afternoon. Residents should see elevated storm conditions at around 5 p.m.
Darby is expected to bring about 10 to 15 inches of rain, 15 to 20 foot waves on eastern shores and sustained winds of 35 mph and gusts of up to 65 mph. The public is urged to stay indoors during the storm and to keep non-essential travel down to a minimum.
Wind and rain preceding Darby has already caused some damage on Maui. Hana Highway was closed earlier today due to landslides and downed trees in several different locations between mileposts 9 and 20.
Other weather related incidents reported today include:
– Kaupakalau Road in Haiku – flooded
– Meha and Kealaloa roads in Makawao – fallen tree blocking both lanes
– Waikoloa and Ulaino roads in Hana – flooded
– The closure of Molokai Landfill due to winds of more than 30 mph
Maui Electric reported multiple storm related outages around the island, including those in Lower Nahiku, Upper Olinda and Haliimaile.
All outdoor county park facilities remain closed although community centers and gymnasiums remain open. Haleakala National Park is also closed. Both the Lanai and Molokai ferry operations have shut down while the storm is active.
All emergency shelters remain open. The list of shelters are: Lanai High School, Molokai High Schol, Lahainaluna High School, Maui High School, Lokelani Intermediate, Eddie Tam Memorial and Center and Hana High School.
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:
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:
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.
Wailuku – Due to the arrival of Tropical Storm Darby, Maui County will be closing all outdoor park facilities tomorrow (Saturday) morning. This includes all campsites, pools, fields, beach parks, pavilions, stadiums and the golf course.
All Department of Parks & Recreation programs, community classes and other activities held in these areas are likewise canceled until further notice. Community centers and gymnasiums will remain open for the time being.
The county also asks that as a precaution, businesses and residents should try to conserve water during the storm. This includes turning off the tap while washing your hands and brushing your teeth, flushing the toilet less frequently and making sure to turn off any outside sprinkler systems.
Finally, police and fire department officials ask that motorists keep all non-essential travel down to a minimum during the storm. Please stay indoors and leave the roadways for emergency personnel use.
Mayor Alan Arakawa has signed an emergency proclamation. The proclamation authorizes the expenditure of County monies for quick, easy and efficient relief of disaster-related damages, losses and suffering resulting from the storm.
Gov. David Ige has also signed a pre-landfall emergency proclamation as the state prepares for Tropical Storm Darby.
“Our top priority is to protect the health, safety and welfare of Hawai’i’s residents and visitors. I urge residents and businesses to follow emergency instructions, prepare for the storm and take steps to protect your families, employees and property. The state is standing by to assist the counties — particularly Hawai’i and Maui counties — which are expected to be the first to feel the impact of Tropical Storm Darby,” said Governor Ige.
The disaster emergency relief period begins today and continues through July 29, 2016.
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