A Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect as Olivia advances toward the islands.
The National Weather Service is forecasting Tropical Storm Olivia will continue to weaken as it moves closer to the Hawaiian Islands. But, Governor David Ige, says the storm remains a threat and residents should stay tuned.
“Olivia continues to be a powerful storm and can impact any county across the state. We want to ask all the residents to stay connected to their county emergency management and civil defense.”
The current National Weather Service tracking model shows the 230-mile wide storm passing through the 30-mile wide ‘Alenuihana Channel Tuesday night, traveling between Maui and the Big Island with Haleakala at 10-thousand-feet tall and Mauna Kea at 13-thousand feet, on both sides less than 100 miles apart. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says those large land masses have been a blessing for the rest of the state.
“We’re lucky here on O’ahu that we have these massive mountains in Mauna Kea and Haleakala that help break apart these storms. And as I’ve mentioned, both Darby and Iselle got ripped apart by Mauna Kea and we’re the beneficiaries of that although those communities in that area suffer the consequences.”
Based on current information, Maui County stood up its emergency operations center 24/7 and is identifying potential shelters. Department of Education Superintendent, Christina Kishimoto, has also taken steps starting Tuesday.
“On the Big Island and Maui we have cancelled all afterschool programs to start preparing potential shelters. We are also closing Hana School to make sure that access road can be prepared to ensure we have safe access for residents in and out of that area.”
State and County officials will receive National Weather Service updates regularly. Meanwhile, in Hawai’i Kai, City Mill store manager, Aaron Kouchi, says sales have been brisk but not like they were last month.
“After Hurricane Lane we didn’t see a lot of returns, so I think this round it isn’t as busy because I think a lot of the public has held on to their supplies in preparation for future hurricanes.”
Quentin Ciccone has been a Hawai’i Kai resident for 45 years. He remembers Hurricanes from Iwa in 1982, to Hurricane Lane last month.
“I don’t think we’re gonna get blasted like the one that was coming a week or two ago. That was gonna destroy this whole side of the island. And we were fortunate. Scenarios don’t usually work out. It may and if it does, it does. That’s why we have insurance.”
For HPR News, I’m Wayne Yoshioka.