Strong winds and heavy rains lashed Hawaii’s Big Island after the Tropical Storm Iselle made landfall here on Friday.
While the weathermen said that the massive Iselle reduced to weakened tropical storm before reaching the Hawaii islands, it was being closely followed by another Category 3 hurricane Julio, which is likely to reach the islands by Sunday morning.
According to the latest forecasts, Hurricane Julio will make landfall early Sunday and it will track just north of archipelago.
Meanwhile, Iselle brought life at a standstill as the storm led to the evacuation of over 1,200 people to safe shelters across the Big Island.
The strong winds and heavy rains and hit eastern areas of the Big Island from Puna to Hilo, knocking out power and phone lines, caused flooding and downed trees.
Hawaii Electric Light Company had complaints from about 5,000 customers without power, a Hawaii County official said.
However, the good news was that it not didn’t cause major damage or injuries.
“There have been no reports of major injuries”, said Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
Meanwhile, the flash flood warnings have been issued for the entire island.
Hurricane Julio had gained momentum about 870 miles to the east and is barreling west-northwest at the speed of 16 miles per hour (26 kph), with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour (169 kph).
The forecasts have predicted Julio weakening before it reaches the Hawaiian Islands.
“Julio will be passing over cooler waters compared to Iselle and is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm before nearing Hawaii waters. Rainfall could still be locally heavy, especially in the higher terrain as a result of the tropical flow of moisture,” Dan Kottlowski of Accuweather said.
Meanwhile, the state health department has issued alert asking the public to stay out of floodwaters and storm-water runoff across Hawaii as they attract sharks.
The state has also taken precautionary measures and closed schools, government offices and transit services across Hawaii.
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