Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022|
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Hurricane Hector has weakened somewhat but remains a Category 4 hurricane as it continues to churn its way toward Hawaii.
At 8 a.m. today, the center of Hector was about 495 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 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 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 about 150 miles south of the Big Island around midday Wednesday.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for Hawaii County and a high surf warning is expected at noon for the east- and southeast-facing shores of the Big Island.
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.
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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