(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi County officials are taking precautions ahead of the potential arrival of Tropical Storm Calvin on Tuesday.
“While we hope for the best, it’s crucial that we plan for the worst,” said Mayor Mitch Roth, who on Monday urged residents and visitors to take the approaching storm seriously, “and to make the necessary preparations for potential impacts.”
“The safety of our community is our top priority, and we are taking all necessary measures to ensure that everyone remains safe and well-prepared throughout the duration of the storm,” Roth said.
The County has already made the following decisions:
- County Camping Permits Cancellation: In the interest of public safety, all County camping permits islandwide will be cancelled from Tuesday, July 18, through Wednesday, July 19. This measure aims to protect individuals from the potential risks associated with camping during adverse weather conditions.
- Waipiʻo Valley Access Road Restrictions: Starting tomorrow, July 18, the Waipiʻo Valley Access Road will only be accessible to residents and farmers. This restriction is necessary to facilitate swift and safe evacuations if required and to prevent any unnecessary congestion on the roadways.
- Emergency Shelters Prepared: Two emergency shelters are being readied in the Kaʻū district to provide refuge for those in need. The Robert Herkes Gymnasium and the Nāʻālehu Community Center will serve as safe locations for residents seeking shelter during the storm. These shelters will be staffed with trained personnel and will be equipped with essential supplies to accommodate residents. The shelters are pet friendly, requiring owners to be responsible for providing a carrier, food, and other supplies for their animals.
- Advisory Updates: The County’s emergency management team is continuously monitoring the situation and will be providing regular updates on Tropical Storm Calvin’s progress. Residents are advised to stay tuned to official sources of information for the latest developments and safety guidelines.
“Residents are reminded to prepare emergency kits, secure loose outdoor items, and stay informed about weather conditions through official channels,” the County news release stated. “Evacuation orders, if necessary, should be followed promptly and diligently.”
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park will also be closing all of the backcountry sites on Tuesday, July 18th, at 5 p.m. “All hikers must be out of the backcountry by then,” the National Park Service said. “No backcountry camping permits will be issued until it re-opens.”
The Hawaiʻi County Department of Public Works, Building and Engineering divisions will not conduct any permit or project inspections on Wednesday, July 19th, due to the potential storm impacts.