America

Iselle Lashes Hawaii's Big Island As Threat From Julio Fades

Hurricane Iselle weakened into a tropical storm before it barreled ashore on the big island of Hawaii early Friday and raked the archipelago with strong winds and heavy rains, Hawaii Public Radio's Bill Dorman reports. It's the first such storm to hit the state in 22 years.

Thousands of households on the island of Hawaii lost power Thursday night as Tropical Storm Iselle knocked down power lines and flooded many areas, Dorman says. As the storm moved north, thousands more people lost electricity on the island of Maui.

About 1,000 miles behind Iselle is Hurricane Julio, which is a Category 3 storm but also appears to be weakening, according to the National Hurricane Center. That storm also had been seen as a threat to strike the islands, but it is now expected to veer north.

The Associated Press notes that Iselle "was downgraded to a tropical storm about 50 miles from shore at 11 p.m. HST Thursday, and within hours its winds had slowed to 60 mph, well below the 74 mph threshold for a hurricane."

The news service reports that no deaths or major injuries had been reported, but the island of Oahu, where three-fourths of Hawaii's population lives, has not yet felt the full effect of the storm.

The storm hit "a rural and sparsely populated region," Hawaii County official John Drummond told The Associated Press.

After the government encouraged residents to have a week's worth of supplies on hand, Hawaii Public Radio reports that 20 complaints of price-gouging had been submitted to the state.

  • Spectators line the coast Thursday to watch surfers riding large swells generated by Iselle in Pohoiki, on the big island of Hawaii.
    Hide caption
    Spectators line the coast Thursday to watch surfers riding large swells generated by Iselle in Pohoiki, on the big island of Hawaii.
    Bruce Omori/EPA/LANDOV
  • Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Olivera (left) reviews storm data in Hilo, Hawaii.
    Hide caption
    Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Olivera (left) reviews storm data in Hilo, Hawaii.
    Bruce Omori/EPA/LANDOV
  • A normally bustling sidewalk on Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo is deserted Thursday, with storefronts boarded up in preparation for Iselle.
    Hide caption
    A normally bustling sidewalk on Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo is deserted Thursday, with storefronts boarded up in preparation for Iselle.
    Bruce Omori/EPA /LANDOV
  • A large wave generated by the storm sends whitewater high up the shoreline Thursday, surprising spectators in Pohoiki.
    Hide caption
    A large wave generated by the storm sends whitewater high up the shoreline Thursday, surprising spectators in Pohoiki.
    Bruce Omori/EPA/LANDOV

1 of 4

View slideshow i

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.