Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, July 29, 2013

Tropical Storm Flossie churns toward Hawai`i Island. Wind, rain and possibly thunderstorms and flooding are
expected. Image from National Weather Service
HAWAI`I ISLAND REMAINS UNDER A TROPICAL STORM WARNING this morning. Tropical Storm Flossie’s path shifted slightly overnight, according to the National Weather Service. The storm was 150 miles northeast of South Point and 80 miles northeast of Hilo as of 8 a.m. 
      The storm had sustained wind speeds of 45 mph. The National Weather Service predicted it would bring heavy rains, high surf and flash flooding across the state.
      Flossie is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of six to 10 inches over the Big Island, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches possible, mainly windward.
     “This rainfall could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, especially in the mountains,” the National Weather Service warned.
      Dangerously high surf may cause coastal road closures, the National Weather Service stated.
      For updates on Tropical Storm Flossie, see prh.noaa.gov/hnl/cphc.
      For Civil Defense updates for the County of Hawai`i, see hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts.

NOAA's tracking of Tropical Storm Flossie shows a path skirting to the
north of Hawai`i Island.
GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE HAS SIGNED an Emergency Proclamation in preparation of Tropical Storm Flossie. The proclamation provides certain authorities that will allow the state to more effectively prepare for the arrival of Flossie, expected to make landfall today on the eastern end of Hawai`i Island. Local, state and federal governmental agencies and nonprofit partners are coordinating and working together to minimize the impact of the projected high wind, waves and torrential rain.
      “All parts of our emergency response system for the entire state are working together,” Abercrombie said. “The purpose of signing this proclamation is to ensure that state agencies have full powers necessary to best protect and serve the people of Hawai`i.”
      The emergency proclamation covers such items as access to the major disaster fund to cover staff overtime and other expenses, allowing emergency procurement of needed supplies and resources, as well as activation of the National Guard, if needed.

Location of Tropical Storm Flossie as of 8 a.m.
HAWAI`I COUNTY IS ENCOURAGING PEOPLE to stay home from work today: “In an effort to insure the safety of, and reduce the risk to employees, employers are encouraged to limit staffing to essential employees only. The County of Hawai`i will be directing all non-essential employees to remain home, and county operations will be adjusted for emergency operations.”

HAWAI`I COUNTY’S HELE-ON BUS SERVICE has been suspended due to the storm. Weather conditions will be evaluated and bus service restored as soon as safely possible, according to a statement from the county.

A HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL COMMITTEE MEETING about prohibiting GMOs that was scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed due to the impending tropical storm, reports Big Island Chronicle.

DUE TO THE ANTICIPATED IMPACTS OF TROPICAL STORM FLOSSIE, Hawai`i Electric Light Company offices are closed today. The company’s trouble line remains operational. Customers may call 969-6666 to report power outages and downed power lines.
      HELCO reminds the public to not touch fallen or low-hanging power lines or anything they may be in contact with. A seemingly harmless wire may still be energized. Stay clear of puddles where downed lines may have landed.
      “The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority,” said president Jay Ignacio. “We encourage the community to monitor local television, radio and other media broadcasts for storm updates and the locations of open emergency shelters.”
      The company will issue a news release when customer operations resume.

While Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park remains open during the storm,
Namakanipaio Campgrounds and other parts of the park are closed.
Photo from hawaiivolcanohouse.com
HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK remains open during Tropical Storm Flossie, but with minimal services.
      “We encourage people to shelter in place and stay off roads. Our first priority is safety and keeping our park employees and visitors out of harm’s way,” said park superintendent Cindy Orlando.
      Park officials have closed the following areas as of Sunday evening. Closures remain in effect until the storm has passed and conditions are safe:
  • Chain of Craters Road, from Devastation Trail parking lot to the coast; 
  • All backcountry areas, including Mauna Loa and cabins; 
  • Mauna Loa Road (known locally as “Mauna Loa Strip Road”); 
  • All coastal areas, including, `Apua Point, Keauhou, Halape and Ka`aha; 
  • Kulanaokuaiki campsite; 
  • Napau campsite; 
  • Namakanipaio Campgrounds and A-frame cabins; 
  • Jaggar Museum (observation deck open but no rangers on duty). 
      Additional closures may be warranted as conditions change.
      Kilauea Visitor Center is open today until 5 p.m. with reduced staffing. Thurston Lava Tube remains open. Volcano House and Kilauea Military Camp are open.

EARLY REGISTRATION WITH LOWER ENTRY FEES is still available for Volcano Art Center’s fourth annual Rain Forest Runs set for Saturday, Aug. 17. The half marathon, 10K run and 5K run/walk are held in Volcano Village. This event traverses the native rain forest in Volcano Village and the ranches near Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. All distances are open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities.
      Entry fees before Aug. 1 are $75 for the half marathon, $45 for the 10K run and $30 for the 5K run/walk. Fees increase Aug. 1.
       Volcano Art Center presents art awards donated by local artists to the top three male and female winners of the half marathon, to the overall winners for the 10K and 5K and to the top two male and female winners in each ten-year age division for all race events. In addition, medals are presented to half marathon finishers and to the top male and female winners of the military division for each race.
      More information and registration forms are available at volcanoartcenter.org/rain-forest-runs.

Doug Connors
LAUPAHOEHOE TRAIN MUSEUM TREASURER DOUG CONNORS discusses the history of railroads on the island of Hawai`i, the sugar plantations and the development of the Hamakua Coast at tomorrow’s After Dark in the Park. Topics include effects of the 1946 tsunami and the development of the train museum, which started in 1995.
      The program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. $2 donations support park programs, and park entrance fees apply.
      Due to uncertainty as a result of Tropical Storm Flossie, call 985-6011 to verify that the program is still scheduled.




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