Tropical Storm Iselle Strikes Hawaii, With Hurricane Julio On Its Heels
The Big Island of Hawaii may have eight different climate zones, but it hasn't seen a hurricane in more than 20 years. Now, it's getting two in one week. On Thursday, residents prepared for the worst as they awaited Category 1 Hurricane Iselle. Though Iselle was downgraded to a tropical storm early Friday, it still made a powerful impact on the island, bringing heavy rains and knocking out power. And now, another hurricane, Julio, is close on its trail.
The last hurricane that hit Hawaii was Category 4 Hurricane Iniki in 1992, and the Big Island hasn't seen anything like this since 1958 when a mild tropical storm made landfall on the northern half of the island. But residents were as ready as ever, stocking up on supplies, boarding up their businesses, and heading to emergency shelters.
The National Weather Service predicted winds of up to 55 mph, swells reaching 15 feet, and four to seven inches of rainfall. By Friday, at least 5,200 islanders were without power, buildings were flooded, and people even reported seeing roofs fly off buildings. And the worst may yet to come, as Julio approaches.
Currently a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds, Julio is expected to reach Hawaii by Sunday, but forecasters predict that its center will stay "sufficiently north of the islands." Though it could also be downgraded to a tropical storm over the weekend, officials are advising residents to keep an eye on its path and progress.
Image: The Weather Channel