Hawaii Gov. David Ige asked President Donald Trump on Tuesday to declare an emergency for the state as Tropical Storm Olivia approaches.
Ige said the storm has the potential to cause widespread and catastrophic flooding and wind damage. He says it could trigger widespread power outages.
Ige is seeking help from military aircraft to fly people between islands if that becomes necessary. He’s also asking for help with potential medical evacuations and emergency power generation.
Tropical storm conditions were expected on Maui and the Big Island later Tuesday and on Oahu Tuesday night. The National Weather Service says Olivia is expected to drop 5 to 10 inches of rain in some areas.
The NWS issued a tropical storm warning for Kauai and Niihau Tuesday morning.
Life otherwise was normal on Kauai Tuesday. There wasn’t a rush for water, food and gas such as when Hurricane Lane was approaching last month before it fell apart. There are no shelters open.
Schools remained open, as did businesses and the county government was still operating.
The county did cancel the Lihue Town Core project meeting set for tonight.
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Olivia had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and was moving west at 15 mph. It was 100 miles northeast of Hilo, 245 miles east of Honolulu and 340 miles east of Lihue.
According to AccuWeather, Olivia will strike Hawaii from the northeast on an unusual path that will bring the likelihood of flooding and mudslides on Oahu, Moloka’ and Maui spanning late Tuesday night and today.
Olivia is moving swiftly west-southwest toward the island chain that will likely take it across the middle islands, AccuWeather reported.
AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski pointed out that since Olivia is moving at a much quicker pace than Lane, this will keep rainfall totals on the Big Island from reaching the same historic levels from late August.
Hawaiian Airlines says Tropical Storm Olivia is prompting the cancellation of its commuter airline, Ohana by Hawaiian.
Hawaiian says it’s calling off today’s flights because of tropical storm conditions forecast for Maui County.
All other Hawaiian Airlines flights are expected to operate as scheduled.
Schools, courts and government offices will be closed in Maui County today.
The county and the Red Cross opened seven shelters Tuesday on the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says his city’s offices will be open as usual. City buses will also be running normally.