Outer edge of hurricane brings rain to Hawaii

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Outer edge of hurricane brings rain to Hawaii
Amazing sight here in Hilo, HI. The Wailuku River rose 13 feet in just 12 hours, says @WXmel6. http://t.co/i253kQSnXA
Rain falls on Diamond Head and Waikiki in Honolulu on the island of Oahu on Friday, Aug, 8, 2014. Iselle came ashore onto the Big Island early Friday as a weakened tropical storm, while Hurricane Julio, close behind it, strengthened and is forecasted to pass north of the islands. Iselle is the first tropical storm to hit the state in 22 years. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Two surfers head for the waves in Honolulu on Friday, Aug, 8, 2014. High surf is expected in some spots on Oahu due to Tropical Storm Iselle. Iselle came ashore early Friday as a weakened tropical storm, while Hurricane Julio, close behind it, strengthened and is forecasted to pass north of the islands. Iselle is the first tropical storm to hit the state in 22 years. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
With a rainbow in the background, a surfer paddles to shore in Honolulu on Friday, Aug, 8, 2014. Iselle came ashore early Friday as a weakened tropical storm, while Hurricane Julio, close behind it, strengthened and is forecasted to pass north of the islands. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
In preparation for heavy winds, workers at the Hale Koa Hotel remove an awning from an outdoor stage in Honolulu on Friday, Aug, 8, 2014. Iselle came ashore early Friday as a weakened tropical storm, while Hurricane Julio, close behind it, strengthened and is forecasted to pass north of the islands. Iselle is the first tropical storm to hit the state in 22 years. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
This image provided by NOAA taken at 2 a.m. EDT Friday Aug. 8, 2014 shows Hurricane Iselle approaching the Island of Hawaii, left as Hurricane Julio with a well defined eye follows. (AP Photo/NOAA)
A sea turtle lies on the beach in Kailua, Hawaii on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Iselle, Hawaii is expected to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it is Hurricane Julio. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)
A sign inside the Walmart McDonalds restaurant alerts customers that it sent its employees home early in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, as the area prepares for Hurricane Iselle. Hurricane Iselle is expected to arrive on the Big Island on Thursday evening, bringing heavy rains, winds gusting up to 85 mph and flooding in some areas. Weather officials changed their outlook on the system Wednesday after seeing it get a little stronger, giving it enough oomph to stay a hurricane as it reaches landfall. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)
A hurricane warning sign is shown posted on the beach in Kailua, Hawaii, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014., as the area prepares for Hurricane Iselle. Hurricane Iselle is expected to arrive on the Big Island on Thursday evening, bringing heavy rains, winds gusting up to 85 mph and flooding in some areas. Weather officials changed their outlook on the system Wednesday after seeing it get a little stronger, giving it enough oomph to stay a hurricane as it reaches landfall. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)
A sea turtle lies on the beach in Kailua, Hawaii on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Iselle, Hawaii is expected to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it is Hurricane Julio. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)
Clouds hang over Honolulu, seen from the top of Tanalus Drive on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Iselle, Hawaii is expected to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it is Hurricane Julio. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
This image provided by NOAA taken at 2 a.m. EDT Friday Aug. 8, 2014 shows Hurricane Iselle approaching the Island of Hawaii, left as Hurricane Julio with a well defined eye follows. (AP Photo/NOAA)
NOAA satellite loop of Hurricane Iselle and Hurricane Julio taken on Thursday, August 7, 2014. Both are heading for Hawaii in a rare case of back-to-back hurricanes for Hawaii. Iselle will be the first hurricane to hit Hawaii in 22 years.
Staff members of the Royal Kona Resort in Kailua, Hawaii take down umbrellas as the resort prepares for Hurricane Iselle on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. Hurricane Iselle is expected to arrive on the Big Island on Thursday evening, bringing heavy rains, winds gusting up to 85 mph and flooding in some areas. Weather officials changed their outlook on the system Wednesday after seeing it get a little stronger, giving it enough oomph to stay a hurricane as it reaches landfall. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)
A traffic jam forms in front of the Menehune Water Company as customers wait to purchase water from the company, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Aiea, Hawaii. Hawaii is bracing for two back to back hurricanes, Iselle and Julio, which are on course to hit the Islands. Bottles of water are quickly disappearing off shelves in Hawaii causing many people to line up for several hours to purchase water directly from the water company. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
People line up at the Menehune Water Company to purchase cases of water and fill up water jugs in Aiea, Hawaii on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Hurricanes Iselle and Julio approaching, bottles of water are disappearing off shelves in Hawaii prompting many to line up for several hours to purchase water directly from the company. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
People line up at the Menehune Water Company to purchase cases of water and fill up water jugs in Aiea, Hawaii on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Hurricanes Iselle and Julio approaching, bottles of water are disappearing off shelves in Hawaii prompting many to line up for several hours to purchase water directly from the company. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Beach goers are seen on Waikiki Beach, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Honolulu. Hawaii is bracing for both Hurricane Iselle and Julio which are on course to hit the Hawaiian Islands. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Anne Kllingshirn of Kailua, Hawaii walks with her daughter Emma, 1, as storm clouds are are seen during the sunrise hours on Kailua Beach, in Kailua, Hawaii, Thursday morning Aug. 7, 2014 . Hurricane Iselle is expected to arrive on the Big Island on Thursday evening, bringing heavy rains, winds gusting up to 85 mph and flooding in some areas. Weather officials changed their outlook on the system Wednesday after seeing it get a little stronger, giving it enough oomph to stay a hurricane as it reaches landfall. (AP Photo/Luci Pemoni)
While surrounded by state and local officials, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie speaks at a news conference at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency in Diamond Head, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Honolulu. Hawaii is bracing for two back to back hurricanes, Iselle and Julio, which are on course to hit the Hawaiian Islands. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
A group of tourists from California head into the water for a surf lesson in Waikiki in Honolulu on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Iselle, Hawaii is expected to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it is Hurricane Julio. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
A couple reads a weather update written on a white board in the lobby of a hotel in Waikiki in Honolulu on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Iselle, Hawaii is expected to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it is Hurricane Julio. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Tourist Denise Newland of New Zealand reads a hurricane update in the lobby of a hotel in Waikiki in Honolulu on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Iselle, Hawaii is expected to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it is Hurricane Julio. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
People walk past a pallet of bottled water being delivered to a shop in Waikiki in Honolulu on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Iselle, Hawaii is expected to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it is Hurricane Julio. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
On Aug. 5, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite captured natural-color images of both Iselle and Hurricane Julio en route to Hawaii. This image is a composite of three satellite passes over the tropical Pacific Ocean in the early afternoon.

NOAA satellite loop of Hurricane Iselle and Hurricane Julio taken on Thursday, August 7, 2014. Both are heading for Hawaii in a rare case of back-to-back hurricanes for Hawaii. Iselle, expected to make landfall Thursday night, will be the first hurricane to hit Hawaii in 22 years.

Graphic shows the current and forecasted location and storm information for Hurricanes Iselle and Julio; 3c x 3 3/4 inches; 146 mm x 95 mm;
NOAA satellite loop of Hurricane Iselle and Hurricane Julio taken on Wednesday, August 6, 2014. Both are heading for Hawaii in an unusual one-two punch of Pacific tropical storm systems.
NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of Hurricane Iselle over the Pacific Ocean at 10:40 a.m. Hawaiian daylight time on August 4, 2014.
Graphic shows the current and forecasted location and storm information for Hurricanes Iselle and Julio; 3c x 3 3/4 inches; 146 mm x 95 mm;
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 6: In this handout provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from the GOES-East satellite, four separate weather system (L-R) Halong, Genevieve, Iselle, and Julio are tracked in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of the United States pictured at 0z on August 6, 2014. High pressure from the North is forcing Hurricane Iselle, with top winds of 85 miles and Hurricane Julio, with winds of 75 mph towards the islands of Hawaii. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)
NOAA satellite loop of Hurricane Iselle and Hurricane Julio taken on Wednesday, August 6, 2014. Both are heading for Hawaii in an unusual one-two punch of Pacific tropical storm systems.
NOAA satellite loop of Tropical Storm Julio taken on Wedesday, August 6, 2014. Both Julio and Hurricane Iselle are heading for Hawaii in an unusual one-two punch of Pacific tropical storm systems.
This image provided by NOAA taken Wednesday Aug. 6, 2014 shows Hurricane Iselle, center, and tropical storm Julio, right. Though it's not clear how damaging the storms could be, many in Hawaii aren't taking any chances as they wait for Hurricane Iselle to make landfall later this week and Tropical Storm Julio potentially hitting a few days later. (AP Photo/NOAA)
Shoppers lift cases of bottled water in preparation for a hurricane and tropical storm heading toward Hawaii at the Iwilei Costco in Honolulu on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Two big storms so close together is rare in the eastern Pacific. Hurricane Iselle could make landfall by Friday and Tropical Storm Julio could hit two or three days later, weather officials said. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
Acting Director Tom Evans of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center speaks during a briefing in Honolulu on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Weather forecasters are predicting four to seven tropical cyclones in the central Pacific Ocean during this year's hurricane season. (AP Photo/Oskar Garcia)
NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured this image of a very active Eastern and Central Pacific, hosting three tropical cyclones (from left to right) Genevieve, Iselle and Julio.
Shoppers stock up on cases of bottled water and other supplies in preparation for a hurricane and tropical storm heading toward Hawaii at the Iwilei Costco in Honolulu on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Two big storms so close together is rare in the eastern Pacific, and Hurricane Iselle could make landfall by Friday and Tropical Storm Julio could hit two or three days later, weather officials said. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
Pedestrians walk along Waikiki beach in Honolulu on Monday, July 29, 2013 as Tropical Storm Flossie approached Hawaii. The storm faded through the morning, but forecasters were still warning residents and tourists to brace for possible flooding, wind gusts, mudslides and big waves. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
Few people visited Waikiki beach in Honolulu on Monday, July 29, 2013 as Tropical Storm Flossie approached Hawaii. The storm faded through the morning, but forecasters were still warning residents and tourists to brace for possible flooding, wind gusts, mudslides and big waves. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
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By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER and AUDREY McAVOY

HONOLULU (AP) -- The first hurricane expected to hit Hawaii in 22 years weakened slightly Thursday as its outer edges began to bring rain and wind to the Big Island, while residents and tourists prepared for a possible one-two punch as another major storm lined up behind it in the Pacific.

The eye of Hurricane Iselle was about 250 miles southeast of Hilo, moving at roughly 17 mph and expected to make landfall Thursday evening, according to the National Weather Service. Meanwhile, Hurricane Julio strengthened early Thursday into a Category 2 storm but was forecast to pass just north of the islands sometime Sunday morning.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said the state is prepared for the back-to-back storms, noting the National Guard is at the ready and state and local governments were closing offices, schools and transit services across Hawaii. Emergency shelters also are being opened across the state.

Meanwhile, state Attorney General David Louie promised that Saturday's primary elections will go forward as planned.

Earlier Thursday, a 4.5-magnitude earthquake struck the Big Island but didn't cause major damage. There were no reports of injuries as residents made last-minute trips to grocery stores and boarded up their homes.

Kelsey Walker said the quake felt like a "little jolt" but didn't knock things off shelves at the Waimea grocery store where he works. He was trying to keep a sense of humor about it.

"We have a hurricane. Now we have this on top of it. What else?" Walker mused.

Travelers got their first word of disrupted plans Thursday, when commuter airline Island Air said it was canceling some afternoon flights between the islands and shutting down all operations Friday.

Hurricane Iselle was expected to bring heavy rains, winds gusting up to 85 mph and flooding in some areas, but officials said the Big Island's mountainous region and size should help break apart and weaken the storm as it passed on to Maui and Oahu late Thursday and early Friday.

"Not a major hurricane, but definitely enough to blow things around," said meteorologist Mike Cantin of the National Weather Service.

Hawaii has been directly hit by hurricanes only three times since 1950, though the region has had 147 tropical storms over that time. The last time Hawaii was hit with a hurricane was in 1992, when Iniki killed six people and destroyed more than 1,400 homes in Kauai, meteorologist Eric Lau said.

The twin hurricanes have disrupted tourism, prompted flash flood warnings and led to school closures.

Hawaiian Airlines waived reservation change fees and fare differences for passengers who needed to alter their plans Thursday and Friday, while some travelers remained optimistic.

Boston resident Jonathan Yorke and his wife booked a Hawaii vacation with their two daughters last year. He has been watching the news to see how the storms could affect their two-week trip to Maui and the Big Island.

"We're all optimists, so we'll make the best of it," Yorke said.

Washington state couple Tracy Black and Chris Kreifels made plans to get married in an outdoor ceremony on the Big Island on Saturday. They spent this week getting a marriage license, adjusting plans and communicating with worried guests on the mainland.

"We see the rain as a blessing," Black said. "It will work out as it's supposed to."

Some residents, meanwhile, are voting early in the primary elections that include congressional and gubernatorial races.

"It's quiet, nobody's around right now. It's kind of eerie" said Hilo resident Kimo Makuakane. "Everybody's heeding the warnings - staying at home and staying indoors."

Education officials said public schools on the Big Island, Maui, Molokai and Lanai will be closed Thursday.

Officials at Mauna Kea Observatories, a collection of 13 telescopes operated by astronomers from 11 countries located around 14,000 feet atop a dormant volcano on the Big Island, said the site was being secured and that visitor stargazing will be canceled Thursday night.

"It's starting to get gusty on the summit of Mauna Kea," said the observatory's Gwen Biggert.

But the telescopes are in no danger, said Roy Gal, astronomer and outreach specialist for the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy.

"Winds of 80 to 100 miles per hour are actually not uncommon on the summit," Gal said. "We get tropical storms all the time which get comparable winds to a Category 1 hurricane."

The storms are rare but not unexpected in years with a developing El Nino, a change in ocean temperature that affects weather around the world.

Ahead of this year's hurricane season, weather officials warned that the wide swath of the Pacific Ocean that includes Hawaii could see four to seven tropical cyclones this year.

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Associated Press writers Doug Esser in Seattle, Oskar Garcia in Honolulu, Karin Stanton in Kailua-Kona, and Dan Joling in Anchorage, Alaska, contributed to this report.

Hawaii Braces For Hurricanes Iselle And Julio


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