Maui braces for impact as Hurricane Douglas nears Hawaii

Wednesday, 29 Jul, 2020

He added that 20 or 30 miles proved to be the difference and if Douglas had been farther south, Hawaii would have been hit much harder.

An employee puts supports on boarded storefront windows in the Waikiki community of Honolulu, Saturday, July 25, 2020, as Hurricane Douglas methods.

"We know that things are going to get wet, things are going to blow and things are going to slide", Meyers said.

The first major hurricane of the 2020 Pacific season, Hurricane Douglas continues to churn towards Hawaii, and while it has lost some of its strength, it is still expected to bring unsafe surf, strong winds, and extreme rainfall to the islands over the weekend.

Hurricane Douglas has reached Category 4 on Friday.

The Hurricane Warning has been canceled for Maui County - including the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoʻolawe - but remains in effect for Oʻahu and Kauaʻi County, including the islands of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau.

Hurricane Douglas did not weaken as expected.

Mr Caldwell said at the same press briefing that 13 shelters were set to open at 9 am on Sunday around Oahu, in preparation for the storm's arrival, at some point between midday and the evening.

On Sunday, the hurricane was expected to bring along sustained winds of 140 kph (85 mph).

The City and County of Honolulu have already opened their ballot drop boxes to the public while other island counties are using the August 3 date cited in state law, West Hawaii Today reported Sunday.

The storm was gradually weakening on Saturday, but officials said that shouldn't lull anyone into complacency.

The storm situated has to do with 240 miles east of Kahului, Hawaii.

Hanna still posed a threat, the hurricane centre said, noting it could dump upward of 45 centimetres of rain in the area through Monday.

President Trump approved Hawaii's emergency declaration on Saturday.

He warned that people in need of shelter should wear a mask, have their temperature taken and comply with social distancing requirements, measures linked to the coronavirus epidemic.

Shelters will need 60 square feet (six square metres) per person or family instead of the 10 square feet (one square metre) per person needed in the past.

Mayor Caldwell said Hawaii was spared for more than 8 years from a serious hurricane, and people may have gotten too comfortable to understand the seriousness of this storm.

Hawaii has some of the lowest coronavirus infection rates in the nation, but the numbers have been rising in recent weeks.

One of the more influential atmospheric processes is a semi-permanent north Pacific high pressure system which often forces a detour of oncoming tropical systems. For three consecutive days through Saturday, Hawaii reported record highs of newly confirmed cases.

Oahu, home to the state's largest city, Honolulu, was placed under a hurricane warning. Precipitation from the storm is expected to range from five to 15 inches.

Hawaiian Airlines cancelled all Sunday flights between Hawaii and the USA mainland and also between the other islands. The last two were Hurricane Dot in 1959 and Hurricane Iniki in 1992.