HILO, Hawaii – Hawaii County remains under a Tropical Storm Warning, but officials are hopeful that the worst from Tropical Storm Madeline is over.
“Madeline is still a powerful storm,” civil defense repeated at 7 p.m., “and the public is reminded to stay off roads as the center of Madeline is continues to pass south of the Big Island.”
Hilo road were fairly empty before sunset, even as the rains died down. The over-saturated island led to some flooding and road closures: Kamehameha Highway in Hilo between Manono and Ponahawai, Lihiwai Street through Liliuokalani Gardens, and East Kawailani Street below Kanoelehua Avenue.
Parts of East Hawaii are under a Flood Advisory until 9:15 p.m. Radar showed heavy rain falling in the Ka’u district at 6:18 p.m.
During an interview with Big Island Video News at the Civil Defense Emergency Operations Center in Hilo, Mayor Billy Kenoi said the county is waiting until about 1 a.m. before giving the all clear, in order to make sure all the moisture associated with Madeline has moved past the island.
Mayor Kenoi also gave a preliminary damage assessment.
Starting tomorrow, things will get back to normal. All County and State facilities, offices and services will be restored.
The Hele-On Bus service will be back up and running, starting with the 3:15 a.m. bus to West Hawaii. Solid waste transfer stations and landfills will also open according to regular schedule.
County Parks will open and programs will resume on a case by case basis pending damage assessments that will occur tomorrow morning.
UH Hilo and Hawaii Community College will reopen tomorrow. However, DOE public and Charter schools will remain closed tomorrow.
Attention will now shift to Hurricane Lester, which is currently 915 miles east of Hilo and moving west at 14 mph. With maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph, Lester is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.