Barbara Could Still Bring Storm Surge Warns Coast Guard

July 6, 2019, 6:00 AM HST · Updated July 6, 6:00 AM
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The U.S. Coast Guard would like to warn all ocean goers and harbor users to be wary of the storm surge that is still an issue even with weakening storm systems.

Coast Guard officials stated on Friday that while wind speeds are closely monitored and reported, nearly 90 percent of all deaths associated with hurricanes are from water — storm surge, high surf, and inland flooding.

A U.S. Coast Guard press release issued Friday states that “storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm’s winds” which can result in a “significant loss of life.”

“Barbara is forecast to cross the 140 W meridian as a weak tropical storm or remnant low Saturday morning and is expected to reach the Big Island of Hawaii as a remnant low-pressure system or tropical wave Monday morning, bringing trade winds of 28 to 35 mph and tropical rain to the windward side. The remnants of Barbara may cause rain, localized flooding, and storm surge.”

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High surf on all east facing shores is also expected to be an issue, according to the National Weather Service.

“Definitely weakening to the point where it’s a type of gale rather than a storm,” said Gavin Shigesato, National Weather Service Meteorologist. “We do expect to see some sort of elevated surf on the east facing shores of all islands. We should see it start rising tonight until Monday.”

The Coast Guard will provide safety messaging and port condition updates as necessary for this and future storms. All commercial harbors are currently open.

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