(BIVN) – Olivia has become a tropical storm, and the Tropical Storm Warning issued for Hawaii County and Maui County remains in effect. Tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area starting late Tuesday, the Central Pacific Hurricane center says.
Governor David Ige joined Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials, and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, at a media briefing on Monday.
The Hawaii State Department of Education is already taken some action. Effective Tuesday, Sept. 11, all afterschool activities and programs, including interscholastic athletic events and After-School Plus (A+) Programs, will be canceled on the Big Island and Maui County.
As of now, Hawaii Island schools are open tomorrow.
“We appreciate the scheduling difficulties that school-related cancellations can have, so we ask our parents and guardians to remain flexible and to check HIDOE’s website for the latest updates throughout this week,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “The safety of our students and staff is the highest priority and will guide any decision to alter school schedules.”
Should the need arise for public evacuation shelters during this event, HIDOE says it will work with emergency agencies to facilitate the use of designated campuses for shelter space.
The Hawaiʻi State Public Charter School Commission received notification today that Connections Public Charter School in Hilo will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, September 11.
Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaiʻi Electric Light Companies have activated emergency response plans as Olivia moves closer. The power company says emergency responders are going through pre-storm checklists to ensure critical preparations are being made. Here is what the companies are doing ahead of Hurricane Olivia:
- All three companies are taking inventory of fuel supply, checking generators, and ensuring that all equipment inside and outside of our facilities are secure.
- Maui Electric is assigning and pre-positioning workers as needed.
- Together the companies have more than 500 contractors in place if needed. For instance, Hawai‘i Electric Light is contacting and securing contractors for various services such as tree trimming, pole hole digging, electrical, and construction workers.
- The companies are working with response partners, including civil defense agencies, FEMA and other government entities.
- The companies are in contact with the Western Regional Mutual Assistance Group, which is comprised of dozens of utilities ready to provide utility workers and equipment as needed. Other utility industry organizations such as the Edison Electric Institute also are on standby to help in areas such as communications, if needed.
The Coast Guard Captain of the Port set port condition YANKEE for Hawaii and Maui County ports as of 8 a.m. Sunday in advance of Hurricane Olivia. Hawaii and Maui Counties are expected to set port condition ZULU at 8 p.m.
“All pleasure craft shall seek sheltered waters,” the U.S. Coast Guard stted. “The Captain of the Port is directing action by the maritime and port community. All ocean-going vessels and barges 200 gross tons and above, without an approved application to remain in port, shall make preparations to depart port before the setting of port condition ZULU. If and when the Captain of the Port sets port condition ZULU, meaning sustained gale force winds are anticipated within 12 hours, all activity will be suspended, and the ports will close until the storm has passed and damage assessment surveys are completed.”
In general, State of Hawaii airports will remain open, the Department of Transportation says, unless there is damage to the runway or terminal facilities. However, officials say the Ellison Onizuka International Airport at Keahole may restrict passenger boarding and deplaning during high winds or heavy rains.