At the moment, Hawaii is forecast to receive a direct hit from a hurricane for the first time in 22 years.
As we reported, yesterday, Hurricane Iselle was forecast to weaken into a tropical storm before it raked the Big Island, but that forecast hasn’t come true and the system still has maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.
All of Hawaii County is under a hurricane warning and some of the other islands are under tropical storm warnings and watches. Check out the forecast map from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center:
The forecast path of Hurricane Iselle. National Weather Service
The AP reports that authorities say the island is ready, but they are still urging residents to take this seriously and prepare. The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports:
“Andrea Geron and her family had their bags packed and ready Wednesday morning if and when authorities give the word to evacuate their Edgewater Drive home on the ocean at Iroquois Point.
“‘The totes are just inside the door, ready to grab and go,’ she said.
“Geron, looking at some modest waves lapping up on the beach next to her home, said she wasn’t really nervous about the storm. She said that’s a function of paying attention to authorities, using caution and being prepared.
“She said her husband was coming home from work early Wednesday to help move lanai furniture and other outdoor items inside.
“‘As long as you’re prepared and listen to the warnings, you’ll be OK,’ she said, adding that the family with two girls, a baby and a dog is ready, if necessary, to head to the pet-friendly public shelter at Campbell High School in Ewa Beach.”
And as if one hurricane wasn’t enough, another one — Hurricane Julio — was right behind Iselle. The bad news: By early morning Thursday, Hawaii time, it had strengthened into a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds at 100 mph.
The good news? The National Hurricane Center puts Julio north of Hawaii by 11 p.m. Saturday. If this forecast holds, the islands will likely miss the brunt of that storm.
Hawaii should begin to feel the impact of Iselle later tonight. According to forecasters, the hurricane will bring strong winds — 60 to 70 mph — and 5 to 8 inches of rain.