Tropical Storm Calvin: What you need to know on the Big Island

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High winds from passing Tropical Storm Calvin down a large tree in Waimea, blocking Mana Road on July 19, 2023. (Photo courtesy: Talmadge Magno)

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday with new information that all roads are open, with the exception of Waipi‘o Valley Access Road.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated at 11:40 a.m. Wednesday with new information that portions of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has reopened. The shelters will be closing at noon. There are three active road closures.

With Tropical Storm Calvin expected to make landfall late this afternoon, Hawai‘i County announces the opening of additional emergency shelters and park closures.

Hawaiʻi Island is currently under a Flood Watch and a Tropical Storm Warning. Potential impacts include 4 to 8 inches of rain, 39 to 57 mph winds and surf reaching 15 feet along east-facing shores.

Emergency shelters opened at 2 p.m. on Tuesday Elijah Navarro with Hawai‘i County Recreation Department was at the Ka‘ū District Gymnasium setting up for the shelter this afternoon. He said the county is currently prepping the gym for potential arrivals. In the past, the shelter has accommodated 8 to 12 people, but Navarro said they will extend if necessary.


Navarro said those who come to the shelter should bring their own food and water. The staff will bring out cots if it becomes necessary. Most of the people utilizing the shelters in Ka‘ū are visitors passing through.

Here’s everything you need to know as the storm nears the Big Island:

Expanded Emergency Shelters

Due to the downgraded status of Tropical Storm Calvin, shelters will be winding down operation this morning and closing as of noon.

Park closures

For the convenience of commuting travelers, Gil Kahele Recreational Area opened at 10 a.m. Motorists are asked to exercise caution and stay informed about weather conditions while utilizing this facility.

All Hawaiʻi County parks continue to be closed. County camping permits throughout the island will be canceled from Tuesday through Wednesday.


All 14 Hawaiʻi Island state parks and campsites will close at 4 p.m. Tuesday and will remain closed Wednesday.

All state Division of State Parks offices also will be closed tomorrow. Parks will reopen following assessments of any damage.

The state Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s Keanakolu and Ainapo cabins are now closed on Hawai’i Island. Waimanu campground also is closed. The Muliwai trail to Waimanu and Waipiʻo Valley Road are closed.  Crews will assess the lands, trails, facilities and manage for hazards after the storm passes. Residents should be cautious of hazards and report them to the Division of Forestry and Wildlife at 808-974-4221.    

To request a refund due to DSP campsite closures email [email protected].

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, including Kīlauea Visitor Center, park roads and most trails have reopened. Ranger programs are suspended Wednesday. Park staff are busy clearing trails, roads and other public facilities following the storm.


Visitors should expect that some areas could remain closed while being evaluated or cleared. The Kulanaokuaiki Campground, backcountry areas and backcountry office is also open.


Hilo International Airport (ITO) and the Ellison Onizuka International Kona Airport at Keahole (KOA) remain fully operational. Tenants have been notified of the approaching tropical storm and travelers are advised to contact their airline to check for any delays or cancellations.

Airport staff have inspected drainage facilities, removed or secured loose material, topped off generators, and prepared sandbags, in addition to other preparedness activities.


Hilo Harbor and Kawaiahae Harbor on Hawai‘i Island remain fully operational. The state department of transportation is in communication with the U.S. Coast Guard and will take appropriate action with harbor users and tenants should the Coast Guard determine the storm conditions require any change in port condition

Port conditions

Hawai‘i County is no longer being in port condition X-RAY.

Road closures

Waipiʻo Valley Access Road is the only road currently closed.

Library closures

Following the Emergency Proclamation issued by Governor Green, all Hawaiʻi Island public libraries and its programs will be closed on Wednesday. Fines for books and materials due during this closure will be waived.

The library digital doors are always open at with a library card.

School closures

Kamehameha Schools has closed all worksites on Wednesday. All students are currently on summer break. No other program or office closures are planned at this time.

All Hawai‘i Department of Education buildings and offices are also closed on Wednesday.

Court and county office closures

All 3rd Circuit courts and Judiciary facilities will be closed on Wednesday. They are set to reopen on Thursday. Hearings or trials canceled due to the closure of the courts shall be rescheduled to the next available date with due regard for any statutory mandates.

County offices and facilities, including the Vehicle Registration and Licensing Division and Transfer Stations, will remain closed Wednesday for the safety of the public and staff. Animal Control services will remain open to address any emergency animal needs during the storm.

Other closures on Wednesday include:

  • East Hawai‘i Organics Facility
  • West Hawai‘i Organics Facility
  • All other green waste collections
  • East Hawai‘i Reload and Sort Station
  • West Hawai‘i Sanitary Landfill
  • Scrap metal and white goods collection
  • All other recycling operations
  • All ReUse facilities
  • Derelict and Abandoned Vehicles program
  • All administrative offices
  • Department of Liquor Control offices in Hilo and Kona
  • No liquor card manager training classes in Hilo. They are rescheduled for July 21
  • Department of Public Works offices in Hilo and Kona
  • Permit and project inspections will not be conducted
  • Office of Housing and Community Development’s Hilo and Kona office: The closures will impact all five divisions, including Administration, Existing Housing (Section 8), Community Development, Community Engagement, and Grants Management. Normal operations will resume on Thursday.
  • East Hawaiʻi and West Hawaiʻi Planning Departments 
  • County of Hawaiʻi Parks and Recreation facilities will be closed islandwide, and all programs will be suspended.
  • Immigration services will not be available.
  • The American Job Center Hawaiʻi at Waiākea Plaza will be closed.
  • The Hawaiʻi Film Office will not conduct film permits.
  • Vehicle Registration and Licensing offices islandwide.
  • Real Property Tax offices will also be closed.
  • Appointments for VRL offices on Wednesday will be rescheduled.

State office closures

State offices in the Hawaiʻi County will be closed on Wednesday. Non-essential employees affected by the closing of those offices should not report to work and shall be granted Administrative Leave, EXCEPT for:

  • Departmental disaster/emergency coordinators
  • Disaster response workers
  • Employees whose work involves continuing crucial operations/services, such as hospital workers, correctional workers, etc.

In anticipation of Tropical Storm Calvin, Governor Green has signed an Emergency Proclamation to make resources available to address potential storm impacts.

Public transportation

The Hele-on bus system will remain offline throughout the day, July 19, due to lingering weather conditions and staffing. Regular service will resume tomorrow, July 20.

Hawaiʻi County Council

Hawai‘i County Council has rescheduled two committee meetings — Government Operations and External Affairs and Finance — to July 25. The regular meeting also is rescheduled for July 26 at 9 a.m.

As the storm approaches, residents are reminded to assemble emergency kits, secure loose outdoor items, and stay abreast of weather conditions through official channels. In the event of evacuation orders, it is imperative to comply promptly and diligently.

To receive timely and essential alerts, the County encourages residents to sign up for Everbridge messages from Civil Defense to receive notifications. Click here to register.

The public is also encouraged to visit the official website of the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Agency at for the latest advisories, evacuation orders, shelter locations and hours of operation, and other essential information related to Tropical Storm Calvin.

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