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 National Weather Service has discontinued the tropical storm warning for Kauai County, however, officials are urging residents and visitors to remain vigilant as a Wind Advisory and Flash Flood Watch remain in effect.
“Despite the Tropical Storm Warning being discontinued, we still anticipate that Olivia will bring strong winds and heavy rains with the potential for life-threatening flash flooding,” stated Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. “Residents and visitors should continue to monitor local media for updates on hazardous conditions, as well as road, school or other closures as a result of severe weather.”
Life otherwise was normal on Kauai Tuesday. There wasn’t a crazed 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 even the county government was still operating.
The county did cancel the Lihue Town Core project meeting set for tonight. One in Kekaha is still scheduled to go on.
As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, Olivia had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and was moving west at 10 mph. It was 115 miles northeast of Hilo, 120 miles east of Honolulu and 215 miles east-southeast of Lihue.
According to AccuWeather, Tropical Storm Olivia will bring the likelihood of flooding and mudslides on O’ahu, Moloka’i and Maui through Wednesday evening.
“Rainfall amounts of 8-12 inches are possible, especially over the higher elevations of Maui and the Big Island, with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 20 inches possible in the mountains,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis said.
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.