Hurricane Iselle Expected to Impact Maui as Tropical Storm
By Maui Now Staff
Officials with the County of Maui are urging residents to prepare for possible impacts of Hurricane Iselle, which is expected to impact Maui County as a tropical storm beginning early Thursday evening.
The Maui Civil Defense Agency joined Mayor Alan Arakawa in issuing an advisory today, reminding the public that they should prepare now, “before the storm hits, while there is still plenty of time.”
“Now is the time to get ready,” said Mayor Arakawa in a press release statement. “Anyone who is waiting until the storm hits to prepare will find themselves running around at the last minute and standing in line at the gas stations and grocery stores. So prepare now and avoid being on the road when you should be safe at home.”
Maui Emergency Management Officer Anna Foust also commented saying, “Although the storm is expected to weaken a bit before impact, at this time we still anticipate a mid-level tropical storm with sustained winds of 50 mph, potential flash flooding and high surf. These conditions can pose a threat to life and property and we should take them seriously.”
Maui Civil Defense Agency offers the following preparation tips to take into consideration before the storm:
- Fuel family vehicles
- Store and secure outdoor objects and loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, garbage cans, etc. that may become airborne
- Prepare to cover all window and door openings with boards, shutters or other shielding materials
- Double check your emergency kit – make sure you have adequate water, non-perishable food, and medications on hand
- Maui Civil Defense is coordinating readiness activities with county, state, federal and non-government partners. The county continues to monitor the storm closely and will announce closures and shelter openings as needed.
Foust also recommends that the public subscribe to receive alerts and notifications directly from Civil Defense on the county website.
Hurricane Iselle is still listed as a Category Four tropical cyclone tracking 1,190 miles east of Hilo, Hawaiʻi.
The National Weather Service has not issued any watches or warnings for Iselle at this time, but has advised the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency, formerly known as State Civil Defense, and county civil defense and emergency management agencies of the potential for Iselle to make landfall in the Hawaiian islands.
“It is likely Iselle will impact the islands sometime Thursday afternoon and will leave the state late Friday to early Saturday,” said Doug Mayne, administrator for Emergency Management in a press release statement. “Although the system should weaken according to forecasts, we recommend residents and visitors stay cautious and monitor local news stations.”
The State Emergency Management Agency issued the following preparedness recommendations:
- Have a reliable way to get information (e.g., sign up for local notification systems and get a battery or crank-operated radio). Information on local emergency notification systems can be found at: Kauaʻi – www.kauai.gov; Oʻahu – www.nixle.com; Maui – www.co.maui.hi.us/list.aspx; Hawaiʻi Island – Email [email protected] and request enrollment to the emergency notification system. Include your mobile phone number.
- Review or create emergency plans that detail how to communicate with your family and friends in emergencies as well as where to go if asked to evacuate.
- Put together or check your emergency supply kit. This kit should have seven days of food and water. Visit www.scd.hawaii.gov for a checklist. You should also have a smaller evacuation bag with changes of clothing, sturdy shoes, and copies of your identification and important documents.
- Prepare your home for possible high winds or locate the three hurricane evacuation shelters closest to you.
- Monitor local news broadcasts for the latest information.