Tropical Storm Flossie nears Hawaii
HONOLULU (AP) - Residents and tourists across Hawaii are bracing for
heavy rains and strong winds from Tropical Storm Flossie, while the
system weakened as it approached the state.
Service officials said they expect people on the Big Island and Maui to
see the brunt of the storm on Monday morning, with wind gusts up to 60
mph, possible flooding and waves up to 18 feet high.
Flossie could also bring mudslides, tornadoes and waterspouts, the forecasters said.
the folks on the Big Island and Maui, if you're preparing your home,
you should be rushing those preparations to completion," said Michael
Cantin, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather
Service in Honolulu.
"By the time you get up in the morning, the storm's going to already be there and you won't have any time," he said.
service on Sunday issued a tropical storm warning for Oahu, Hawaii's
most populous island with the city of Honolulu, to go along with
previous warnings for the Big Island, Maui, Molokai and Lanai. The
warning means the storm represents a threat to life and property.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed an emergency proclamation in anticipation
of the storm, allowing the state to use its disaster fund to pay for
staff overtime, supplies and other resources. The proclamation also
allows the state to call Hawaii National Guard members to duty, if
The U.S. Coast Guard also closed three ports - two on
the Big Island where the storm is expected first and a third on Maui.
College campuses and courts were also to be closed Monday on the Big
Cantin said Sunday night that the system was weakening
because winds in the higher levels of the atmosphere were beginning to
move in more strongly, disrupting the circulation of the storm.
said wind gusts will likely be able to knock down power poles and blow
away loose objects. He said people should be careful of trying to walk
or drive across water if floods happen.
"It takes about 6 inches of water to knock you off your feet ... 12 inches to move a vehicle," he said.
service also issued a tropical storm watch for Kauai and Niihau, a less
severe notice asking people to make a plan and pay attention to see if
things get worse.
Officials warned people to cancel beach trips, finish necessary storm preparations and evacuate if asked by local officials.
McCartney, chief executive of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, said some
airlines have begun to adjust flights and visitors should double-check
Trails and campgrounds were also close on the Big Island,
where state officials warned people to avoid forest areas until Flossie
It's not immediately clear which island faces the most
danger, though the Big Island - the easternmost island in the
archipelago - is likely the first in Flossie's path. Flossie's center
was expected to pass near the Big Island and Maui on Monday morning and
then south of Oahu several hours later on Monday evening into Tuesday
The storm is expected to drop 6 inches to 10 inches of
rain, with higher amounts on the eastern side and less on the western
side of islands.
Waves of 12 to 18 feet are expected for the Big Island and Maui, with surf of 10 to 15 feet on other islands.
Despite the system weakening, the current forecast keeps Flossie as a tropical storm through Wednesday.
in the Atlantic, the remnants of what was Tropical Storm Dorian is now a
disorganized tropical rainstorm racing westward through the Caribbean,
according to AccuWeather.
The storm may press far enough to the
northwest Wednesday night and Thursday to enhance showers and
thunderstorms across South Florida, including in Miami, Key West and
Fort Lauderdale, AccuWeather meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski reports.