Tropical Storm Calvin passes Hawai‘i Island with little impact

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Hawai‘i County closed all county parks, including Whittington Beach Park in Ka‘ū, as a precaution as Tropical Storm Calvin passed southwest of Hawai‘i Island on July 19, 2023. (Megan Moseley/Big Island Now)

Tropical Storm Calvin was projected to bring several inches of rain, wind gusts of up to 65 mph and 15-foot surf, however, as of 11 a.m., the storm system was 255 miles west-southwest of Hilo and continues to move away from the Hawaiian Islands.

The Tropical Storm Warning was canceled.

“We got lucky,” said Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno Wednesday morning.


East Hawai‘i received rain and wind Tuesday night, which lingered into Wednesday morning. North Kona saw little to no rain or wind, just cloudy skies.

Light rain consistently fell throughout the Ka‘ū District this morning. There were reports of flooding on Wood Valley Road and Pāhala Transfer Station Road. Laupahoehoe, located north of Hilo, received the most rain with seven inches fallen in a 24-hour period, Magno said.

Eight shelters were operational overnight islandwide. Magno said only about 20 people utilized the shelters with most of them staying in Kea‘au.

Ocean View resident Ricky Carstens captured a rainbow on the water as Tropical Storm Calvin passed west-southwest of Hawai‘i Island on July 19, 2023. (Photo courtesy: Ricky Carstens)

Terry Saito with the Parks and Recreation Elderly Activities Division said two Ka‘ū residents who live on Wood Valley Road stayed at the Ka‘ū gym shelter Tuesday night. Since Wood Valley Road has a history of flooding, Saito said the couple decided to stay at the shelter in case the road closed so they could have access to medical facilities if needed.

Saito, who lives in Pāhala, said she’s seen worse rain and didn’t consider the weather over Tuesday night into Wednesday to be a storm.

Magno said the county is dealing with minor damage to county park pavilions because of broken branches. There were a couple of landslides, one by the Ō‘ōkala Homestead community on Old Māmalahoa Highway and another vegetation landslide on Waipi‘o Valley Access Road.


A Brown Water Advisory has been issued for the eastern and southern coast from Kohala to South Point.

Calvin is the first tropical storm to pass by Hawai‘i Island during this year’s hurricane season, which lasts till November. Magno said the county recognized the storm as a potential threat about a week ago. As it got closer, Civil Defense worked with county departments and community groups to ensure all resources were in place to help weather the storm.

“The potential was there,” Magno said. “You’d be foolish not to take notice and not take preparations.”

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