This photo provided by the Hawaii Department of Transportation shows tree limbs that are blocking the Hana Highway near Hana on the island of Maui Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. Maui was hit with heavy rain and powerful winds Wednesday, as a gradual weakening of the tropical storm approached Hawaii, with forecasters predicting Tropical Storm Olivia could dump 5 to 10 inches (12 to 25 centimeters) of rain. Some places could get as much as 15 inches (38 cm). (Hawaii Department of Transportation via AP)
HONOLULU – A gradual weakening of the tropical storm in Hawaii on Wednesday, dropping nearly 8 inches (20 cm) of rain over part of Maui and lashing of a airport 51 mph (82 km / h) gusts.
Lori-Lei Rawlins-Crivello, owner of one of the two gas stations on the small island of Molokai, ” she said, watching a nearby river to rise. They said that they send their employees home if the water starts to go over the bridge in the vicinity of its Texaco service station.
“The eradication of a whole section of the island from the in and out of Kaunakakai town,” she said.
Most shops in the city were closed, ” she said. If the rain is getting harder, they expected a conclusion to the afternoon.
“We have a steady rainfall throughout the day. It starts to come down a little heavier now, along with a few gusts of the wind,” she said.
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center said Olivia was about 40 miles (60 km) west of Kahului on the island of Maui, and 60 miles (95 km) east of Honolulu on Oahu, the most populated island. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 km / h).
The storm made landfall in the west Maui mountains to continue to move further to the west.
Forecasters say 5 to 10 inches (12 to 25 centimeters) of rain could fall in the state, with some areas to as much as 15 inches (38 cm).
A flash flood warning was issued for Molokai island and Maui. A wind gust of 51 mph (82 km / h) was recorded at the airport on the island of Lanai.
The storm, a hurricane earlier in the week, it slowly lost power as it approached the state.
Matthew Foster, a meteorologist with the hurricane center, said that the strong winds will likely continue on Maui by early afternoon and then die off. They pick up on Oahu around noon and last until the beginning of the evening.
Tropical storm warnings were cancelled during the night for the Big Island, Kauai, but instead of Oahu, Maui and the small islands surrounding Maui.
Schools, courts and government offices were closed in Maui County in preparation for the storm.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency sent emergency teams and supplies to Maui before the storm. The National Guard has deployed personnel and trucks to the east side of Maui.
Hawaiian Airlines cancelled flights by the living-airline, Ohana by Hawaiian.
The owner of the only hardware store in the small town of Hana on the east side of Maui said he opened his shop normally to 7 hours The store lost electricity about a half hour later, and which are necessary for the back-up generators, said Neil Hasegawa, the owner of Hasegawa General Store.
The residents were bracing for the community, with a population of 1,200 people to the center of gravity of the storm, Hasegawa said. But he was relieved to feel the rain was not as hard as he feared.
“It is a lot better than I expected,” he said. “We are not out of the woods yet … I hope —it seems that it will continue to the north.”
Hana is a popular day-trip destination for travelers who are staying in Maui resort cities. But Hasegawa people who don’t need to be in Hana to stay away because they are caught and take limited shelter space.
People were mainly the stay of the way, Hasegawa said. The state Department of Transportation said crews got a landslide on the Hana Highway, and reported there were a number of fallen trees.
Public schools on the Big Island, Oahu and Kauai were open.
On Oahu, Nakoa Ching prepared for the storm a hurricane kit, food and heaters, and was friends with generators.
“We cleaned up all the loose material, put (it) in the warehouses and that kind of stuff, but we didn’t want to go buy and invest in multiplex or something like that. It is what it is, you know,” Ching said.
Associated Press writers Caleb Jones in Honolulu, and Mark Thiessen in Anchorage, Alaska, contributed to this report.