TROPICAL STORM WATCH
EVENT: The National Weather Service has ISSUED a TROPICAL STORM WATCH for MAUI COUNTY.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area within 48 hours.
EFFECTS: Hawaiian Islands remain vulnerable as major Hurricane Ignacio continues moving steadily northwest.
At 5 p.m., the center of Hurricane Ignacio was located about 735 miles east-southeast of Honolulu. Hurricane Ignacio is moving northwest at 9 mph. with maximum sustained winds near 140 mph.
SITUATION OVERVIEW: Hurricane Ignacio is expected to approach the area from the southeast bringing an increased potential for tropical storm conditions to the Big Island and Maui County.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: IT IS VITAL THAT YOU DO NOT FOCUS ON THE EXACT FORECAST TRACK. FORECAST MOVEMENT, DIRECTION AND SPEED ARE ONLY ESTIMATES. EVEN SMALL ERRORS IN THE FORECAST TRACK CAN MEAN MAJOR DIFFERENCES IN WHERE THE WORST CONDITIONS WILL OCCUR. DAMAGING EFFECTS CAN EXTEND FAR FROM THE CENTER.
FOR THOSE UNDER A WATCH, NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE. SECURE OR BRING INDOORS ANY LOOSE OUTDOOR OBJECTS LIKE LAWN FURNITURE, CHILDREN’S TOYS, HANGING PLANTS, BARBECUE GRILLS, OR ANY ITEM THAT COULD BECOME A DESTRUCTIVE PROJECTILE IN STRONG WINDS. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE.
STAY CALM AND KEEP INFORMED. CLOSELY MONITOR NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR OTHER LOCAL NEWS OUTLETS FOR OFFICIAL STORM INFORMATION. LISTEN FOR WARNINGS OR CHANGES TO THE FORECAST.
BE READY TO EVACUATE IF NECESSARY. HEED THE ADVICE OF LOCAL OFFICIALS AND COMPLY WITH ANY ORDERS THAT ARE ISSUED. PERSONS LIVING NEAR THE SHORE SHOULD BE PREPARED TO EVACUATE QUICKLY SHOULD BUILDING SURF THREATEN.
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 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 mauicounty.gov.
The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help in locating Gregory Voight, mid 40s and resident of the island of Hawai’i.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received a report Tuesday from a good Samaritan, stating she witnessed a man depart his vehicle with a large bag, a brown wooden kayak with metal oars and enter the ocean at Pahoehoe Beach just south of Kailua-Kona Sunday about 6:45 p.m.
The Coast Guard contacted the Hawaii Police Department and determined the vehicle is registered to Gregory Voight. The police have checked Voight’s residence but have not located him on land and his car is still parked at Pahoehoe Beach.
The Coast Guard has no reports of missing persons or distress in the area but is asking for assistance from the public to locate Voight and verify his safety.
Anyone with information on Voight’s whereabouts or anyone who has seen a brown wooden kayak is requested to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.
The Coast Guard encourages boaters and waterway users to always file a float plan and leave it with a reliable person who can be depended upon to notify the Coast Guard, or other rescue agency, should you not return or check‐in as planned.
The Coast Guard reminds boaters to exercise caution over the next few days as Tropical Storm Hilda passes south of the Main Hawaiian Islands and creating a tremulous sea state with 8 to fifteen foot seas and East winds gusting between twenty and thirty knots.
BIG ISLAND – Nearly two miles of ungulate (hoofed animals) proof fencing, surrounding the Pu’u Maka’ ala Natural Area Reserve (NAR) on Hawai’i Island, built in the early part of this decade, was recently cut and destroyed by vandals.
Likely no coincidence, for several hours yesterday, DLNR phone lines were also out of service – having been tampered with as well.
Ungulate fencing is intended to keep feral goats, pigs and other invasive animals away from native plants. This is not the first time fencing in two units within this Hawaii Island Natural (NAR) was vandalized. A routine inspection of the fencing by NAR staff from the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) revealed that vandals had cut through multiple sections of fence at intervals of 5-10 meters top to bottom.
DLNR Chairperson Suzanne Case said, “Whatever point these vandals think they’re making, they need to realize that they and every other taxpayer in Hawaii, ultimately ends up paying for the replacement of this fencing. Additionally, significant staff time will be spent to repair the damage which could take several months and takes staff away from other scheduled projects and regular duties.”
The damage has been reported to the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE). A first degree criminal property damage case has been filed. Anyone caught and convicted of vandalizing or destroying state property faces a class B felony with fines in the thousands of dollars as well as 5-10 years in jail. Risking the appearance of topical bias, we at Maui TV News hope the vandals are caught, convicted and punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Nick Agorastos, a NAR Specialist on the Big Island estimates it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair the damage. He said, “This damage was done in one day and the cost estimate does not include the labor cost needed to remove ungulates that may have slipped through the damaged portions of fence. It’s unfortunate that we all end up paying for someone else’s thoughtlessness and complete disregard for the purpose of ungulate fencing.”
Hundreds of miles of fencing around the state have been constructed for the express purpose of protecting watersheds and native plants; some of which are so rare there are only a few remaining. Pu’u Maka’ ala Natural Area Reserve is a high value, native forest, containing many sensitive natural resources. It and many other state lands that are fenced continue to provide hunting and recreational access.
Anyone with information on this crime is encouraged to call the DOCARE Hotline at 643-DLNR.
A Mokulele Airlines flight intended to fly from Maui to the Big Island Wednesday was forced to turn around and make an emergency landing after engine failure.
The pilot was able to control the otherwise disabled aircraft and the plane glided back to the Kahului airport after the propeller on the single-engine plane stopped turning. The plane landed without incident at 9:35 a.m. Wednesday.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.
A passenger on the flight who uses Mokulele to make the trip regularly, said he could hear the engine malfunctioning. Emergency personnel were on the ground when they landed, but no one was hurt.
A similar incident happened in October, 2013, when a Mokulele flight from Kahului to the Big Island lost power. In that incident, the pilots miraculously landed the aircraft on the Pi’ilani Highway adjacent to Maui Meadows. All 10 on board were unhurt.
Governor David Ige announced a short while ago that construction on the Thirty Meter Telescope would continue to be on hold.
Ige said, “Today, the Thirty Meter Telescope leadership informed me that construction will continue to be postponed. Any further announcements about the construction schedule will come from TMT.
“My understanding is that TMT followed an almost 7 year planning and permitting process, which included public hearings and community input. Following this process, project permits were issued. The TMT team is legally entitled to use its discretion to proceed with construction.
“I understand that not everyone will agree with this and recognize and respect their right to appeal through the court system.
“We have used this time to listen and learn about Maunakea from various stakeholders. I learned about other issues that need our attention to create and implement a better plan for the stewardship of Maunakea. This may include:
“My administration will be working with the University of Hawai‘i, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the community to actively pursue these outcomes.”
Hilo – Today, Governor David Ige announced, while in Hilo, that the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) team has informed him it will postpone construction until Monday, April 20.
“I thank TMT for its willingness to be respectful and sensitive to all of Hawai‘i – its special people, its sense of place and its unique host culture,” said Governor Ige.
Protest at the summit of Mauna Kea have interfered with planned construction and as many as 12 people have been arrested. The “We Are Mauna Kea” movement has gained worldwide traction as movie stars and common people show their support for leaving the land as it is.
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