Tropical storm warning issued for Kauai, Niihau

As of 5 p.m. Saturday, the National Weather Service has upgraded the tropical storm watch to a tropical storm warning for the islands of Kauai and Niihau due to Tropical Storm Darby, which was 295 miles southeast of Lihue.

A Tropical Storm Warning means tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours. While the latest forecast shows Darby weakening as it passes over Hawaii Island, the system is still expected to produce heavy rains and strong winds for areas across the state.

According to weather officials, impacts to Kauai County could begin as early as late Sunday or early Monday and could result in localized flash flooding, ponding on roadways, rockslides and flying debris.

Kauai County continues to be under a high surf advisory for all east-facing shores, and a small craft advisory remains in effect for surrounding waters.

In anticipation of inclement weather, the Kalalau Trail is closed until further notice. Flyovers were conducted today over Polihale and the Napali State Park to warn campers and hikers of the impending storm.

The Lihue Airport remains open; however, travelers are encouraged to contact their airlines directly to check on possible flight delays or cancellations.

The public is reminded that conditions can change quickly. Residents and visitors are urged to monitor weather updates and be prepared to shelter in place or evacuate, if needed.

There are no plans to open shelters at this time; however, the American Red Cross is prepared to open shelters on an as-needed basis. Any Kauai shelter openings will be announced to media and posted to the Civil Defense website, www.kauai.gov/civildefense.

The Civil Defense website also includes information on how to prepare a family emergency kit and other emergency preparedness tips.

For weather updates call the National Weather Service automated weather line at 245-6001 or visit the NWS website, www.weather.gov/hawaii.

To sign up for Blackboard Connect, the county’s emergency notification service, please go to the county’s website, www.kauai.gov, or call the Kauai Civil Defense Agency at 241-1800.

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