Monday, May 16, 2022|
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Hurricane Hector, still a Category 4 hurricane, continues its westward move toward Hawaii waters.
At 2 p.m. today, the center of Hector was about 410 miles east-southeast of Hilo, packing maximum sustained winds of 130 miles an hour with gusts to 150 mph, and moving west at 16 mph.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center of the storm, which was described by National Weather Service meteorologist Deanna Marks as “compact but strong.”
Hector is forecast to pass less than 200 miles south of the Big Island around midday Wednesday.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for Hawaii County. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area within 48 hours.
A high surf warning becomes effective at noon today until 6 p.m. Wednesday for the east-facing shores of the Big Island.
Surf is expected to rise to between 12 and 15 feet on eastern shores late today and tonight.
Whittington, Punaluu and Milolii beach parks have been temporarily closed. All pavilion and camping permits through Friday are canceled. Other beach park closures are anticipated, according to Janet Snyder, spokeswoman for Mayor Harry Kim.
In addition, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is closing its Kahuku Unit in Ka‘u, about an hour south of the main park entrance.
A lava emergency meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. today at Pahoa High School gym was canceled because the county is concentrating on response to possible effects from Hector.
In addition, the Disaster Recovery Center assisting residents with the Kilauea eruption recovery will be closed Wednesday because of the threat posed by Hector.
Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the Disaster Recovery Center at the Pahoa Community Center will close at 6 p.m.today, and they will evaluate conditions on Thursday morning to determine if it is safe to reopen.
Island residents or businesses who suffered damage or losses as the result of the eruption have until Monday, August 13, to register for assistance with FEMA or the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Survivors may also register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay service may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
The County Clerk is also closing absentee walk-in voting sites at the Pahoa Community Center and the Pahala Community Center on Wednesday due to the possible storm threat, and if conditions warrant, on Thursday, as well.
All other absentee walk-in voting sites will be open, subject to weather conditions.
Thursday is the final day of absentee walk-in voting and the official primary election cay is Saturday.
Residents are advised to have an emergency survival kit ready in case the storm causes road closures and power outages.
The recommended items for a survival kit can be found on the American Red Cross website at www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/survival-kit-supplies.
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