(BIVN) – Hurricane Douglas is 280 miles east of Hilo, moving west northwest at 16 mph. Maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph with higher gusts, the same strength reported at 11 a.m. Gradual weakening is still expected through the weekend. However, Douglas is still forecast to be near hurricane strength when it nears the islands, forecasters warn.
For Hawaiʻi island, a Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect, along with a Hurricane Watch. Also, a Flash Flood Watch and a High Surf Warning are in effect.
According to the latest Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense message:
- For the eastside of Hawaii Island, all ocean and coastal recreation activities should be cancelled until the danger has passed.
- Boat and aircraft owners should take measures to secure their vessels. Do complete these measures before night fall.
- All field observation reports show normal conditions at this time.
- There are No evacuation orders at this time.
President Trump Approves Disaster Declaration
President Donald Trump approved an emergency declaration for Hawaiʻi in advance of Hurricane Douglas. FEMA says the declaration provides “emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance and reimbursement for mass case including evacuation and shelter support at 75 percent federal funding for the counties of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui and the City and County of Honolulu.”
“I appreciate the swift approval of this emergency declaration by the administration – which makes available crucial federal resources as we prepare and then recover from the storm,” said U.S. Senator from Hawaiʻi Mazie Hirono. “While this declaration unlocks important federal resources, I encourage all Hawaii residents to take the time to prepare for the storm by stocking their 14-day emergency kits – and ensuring those kits include facemasks and hand sanitizer,” sahe said.
Hawaiian Electric Customers Should Prepare For Outages
The Hawaiian Electric company says the strength and intensity of Hurricane Douglas will likely trigger power outages, and that customers should plan ahead for the possibility of extended outages. From the utility:
Hawaiian Electric Company is moving crews and equipment where needed as Hurricane Douglas approaches the islands, and urges customers to prepare for storm-related power outages.
The company is closely monitoring Hurricane Douglas’ movement in order to stage crews in areas most likely to be affected. A hurricane warning is in effect for Oʻahu; a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning remain in effect for both Hawaiʻi Island and Maui County.
Repair crews will be dispatched only after the storm has passed or when conditions are safe to do so. Damage assessments will be conducted to help determine where crews should be sent; circuits serving hospitals and other critical infrastructure will receive higher priority.
During storms, wind gusts can cause tree branches or fronds to break loose and come into contact with our lines. Falling trees could also hit a pole, or more likely, an overhead line, knocking the line down or causing the pole to lean, resulting in an outage or requiring electricity to be cut off until the pole or overhead line are safely repaired or replaced.
Watch for downed power lines. Stay at least 30 feet away (about three car lengths) from downed power lines, as they may have electricity running through them and may be dangerous. If you see someone injured after touching a downed power line, call 9-1-1 for help; don’t try to rescue the individual.
Hawaiian Airlines Cancels U.S. Mainland Flights
Hawaiian Airlines announced on Saturday that it is canceling all flights between Hawaiʻi and the U.S. mainland – including service to and from Los Angeles, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle – on Sunday due to adverse weather expected from Hurricane Douglas. The airline already announced the cancellation of Neighbor Island service for Sunday, said it is providing guests flexibility to change flights without fees.
Port Condition ZULU Set For Hawaiʻi County
From the U.S. Coast Guard:
The Coast Guard Captain of the Port set port condition ZULU for Hawaii County, Saturday.
Maui County anticipates to follow to port condition ZULU at 8:00 p.m.
Honolulu County anticipates to set port condition ZULU early Sunday at 2 a.m.
Kauai County anticipates to set port condition ZULU at 8 a.m., Sunday.
The Coast Guard reminds mariners that our facilities and ports are safest when the inventory of vessels is at a minimum. While port condition ZULU remains in effect, port facilities will be restricted until the storm has passed and crews complete damage assessment surveys.