East Hawaii News

HI-EMA Encourages Preparedness as Storms Approach

August 28, 2015, 12:35 PM HST
* Updated August 28, 2:57 PM
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As Hurricane Ignacio maintains Category 1 strength and is anticipated to reach Category 2 hurricane status later  Friday, the National Weather Service, along with the Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency and other partnering agencies, have joined together through teleconferencing briefings with Governor David Ige and County mayors in preparation for potential impacts to the state.

“We understand the public is fatigued from experiencing four major approaching storms so far this season, but we urge people to take the weekend to prepare their homes and families for impacts that could be felt statewide,” said Doug Mayne, Administrator of Emergency Management. “Severe weather associated with Ignacio is expected, and with Jimena not far behind, we need to ready ourselves and our loved ones as much as possible with the time we have. We will continue to work with our county, state and federal partners and leadership to monitor the storms and provide the public with timely updates as we receive them.”

As of 11 a.m., Hurricane Ignacio was 785 miles east-southeast of Hilo, moving at a rate of 8 miles per hour in a northwest direction. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 90 mph and is anticipated to strengthen. Despite a somewhat uncertain track, all islands remain within the storm’s cone of uncertainty and preparation for potential impact as early as next week should be conducted.

Advisory-level surf is expected for east and southeast facing shores of the Big Island beginning Saturday. These conditions are likely to increase to warning-levels on Sunday through Monday.

Based on the calls, HI-EMA officials say that If Hurricane Ignacio continues on its current path and rate, tropical storm force winds could impact the Big Island as early as Sunday evening.

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Should Hurricane Ignacio track across the islands, it’s likely that hurricane force winds, storm surge, and widespread flash flooding could occur. If the storm tracks north or south of the state, weather impacts, such as gusty winds, heavy rain and thunderstorms, could happen.

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Hurricane hunters are scheduled to fly into the storm Friday evening. The flight will provide a more accurate forecast of strength and track.

Hurricane Jimena also continues to be monitored by the National Weather Service. The storm, located behind Hurricane Ignacio, remains a potential threat to the state. Currently at Category 3, the storm is expected to reach Category 4 status Saturday before beginning to weaken and enter the Central Pacific as a Category 3 hurricane.

HI-EMA suggests that residents and visitors take the time to prepare for the possibility of a possible hurricane or tropical storm:

  • Discuss plans with family members about what you plan to do if a hurricane or tropical storm threatens. Make an action plan, which should include details such as whether your family will shelter in place or evacuate to a shelter.
  • Download the Ready Hawaii app from the iTunes or Google Play! store. This app can aid in your emergency planning and will list shelters if they are opened for evacuation.
  • Walk your property, checking for small outdoor items that could be picked up by high winds and check for potential flood threats. If time and conditions permit, clear your gutters and other drainage systems.
  • Stay tuned to local media broadcast channels and follow the Department of Education online for the latest information on possible school closures. Make sure you know the closure notification procedure if your children attend a private or charter school.
  • Set aside an emergency supply of any needed medication and keep a copy of your prescriptions in case you run out of medication after a disaster.
  • Visitors should download and read the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Travel Safety Brochure.

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