Tropical Storm Flossie and its 60MPH winds is expected to reach Hawaii’s Hamakua Coast at 6am local time.
Weather officials are expecting high winds, heavy surf, and torrential rains. Officials expect the storm to weaken before it hits Hawaii. Even in a weakened state waves up to 18 feet tall may be spotted along with 6 to 10 inches of rain. In some areas, upwards of 15 inches of rain could be experienced.
The National Weather Service says the storm could produce flash floods in low-lying areas. Officials are also warning of potential mudslides, tornadoes, and waterspouts.
Currently under tropical storm warnings are Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and the Big Island. A tropical storm warning means there is a level of danger to people and property. A tropical storm watch has also been issued for the islands of Kauai and Niihau.
Experts expect East Hawaii and Maui County to be the hardest hit by the storm. The storm could be harsh enough in those areas to know down power line poles and blow away loose objects.
Weather experts say the storms move towards the Big Island is “unprecedented” as storms typically approach from the south and slip by the Big Island.
Officials on the Big Island have been working around the clock to warn residents and prepare shelters. Officials have listed the following locations as safe havens from the storm:
• Pahoa Community Center;
• Aunty Sally’s Luau Hale;
• Laupahoehoe Charter School;
• Honokaa Gym;
• Waimea Community Center;
• Hisooka Gym.
The shelters are in place purely to protect against Tropical Storm Flossie and not as a lifeline for residents. For that reason, officials are asking residents to bring food, water, and medications with them to the shelter.
Officials warns that residents could be stuck in their location for upwards of 24 hours.
In preparation for the storm, the Department of Land and Natural Resources announced Saturday evening that it had closed down the Waimanu trail and campground, the Pololu trail, and the Ainapo trail and cabin.
Even as the storm weakens, it is expected to remain in the area through Wednesday.