Tropical Storm Ana: Maui Shuts Down

Aloha!

A Reader wrote to say they were due for their first trip to Maui and wondered if they should cancel (without penalty.) We said yes. It certainly won’t be any fun to not be able to go to the beach, and to get blown around. There will be no boating activites and helicopter and air activities will most likely be canceled.

Here’s the latest:

Tropical Storm Ana is packing sustained winds of 65 mph and is 375 miles south–southeast of Hilo. A tropical storm watch has been issued for the Big Island and Maui County’s leeward waters, the Alenuihaha Channel and the Big Island’s windward waters.

Before the heaviest winds arrive, south and south-east facing shores could see surf of 10 to 20 feet with storm surge of 1 foot, possibly 2 feet, on south-eastern shores.

Rainfall of 5 to 10 inches with locally heavy rainfall of 20 inches or more will precede the strongest winds. A flash flood watch statewide began at noon today.

Here are the area closings/changes:

Island Air halted flights to Maui and Lanai on Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
Fliers ticketed for travel on Island Air from today to Monday will be permitted to change their flight online without charge at http://www.Islandair.com or by contacting reservations at one 800–652–6541, which will maintain extended hours of 6 AM to 9 PM through Sunday and return to regular hours of 7 AM to 6 PM on Monday. Changes must be made prior to the departure of originally scheduled flights, the commuter airline said.

A host of local events are either postponed or canceled. Check the Maui News for the schedules.

On Molokai, there is gas rationing with purchases limited to $20 per vehicle, because the next shipment of gasoline to the island is not expected until next Thursday, due to Ana. At $5.33 a gallon for regular unleaded that comes to almost 4 gallons of gas. “When people panic, they fill up not only their cars, but gas cans and drums. Everybody wants to be prepared after seeing what happened to Puna, and that’s understandable. However, we need to make sure we have enough for everyone as well,” said Lori-lei Rawlins-Crivello of Rawlings Chevron on Molokai.

County parks and recreational facilities will be closed Saturday with camping grounds closed today, the county Department of Parks and Recreation announced Thursday. Camping permits issued for tonight and Saturday night were canceled.

State parks on Maui and Molokai were closed today, until further notice. Campers in remote coastal areas have been notified to leave.

Forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves and Na Ala Hele hiking trails and game management areas are closed until further notice. Haleakala National Park Summit closed at noon today. The park will remain closed until managers can assess the safety conditions of the roads, trails, campgrounds and visitor centers. In anticipation of Ana, the park stopped issuing backcountry camping and cabin permits Wednesday. Existing weekend backcountry permits have been canceled. For the latest closure information, go to the website http://www.nps.gov/hale.

The state’s small–boat harbors will be closed at 4:30 PM today, until further notice, the DLNR said. Those include Maalaea and Lahaina small – boat harbors.

Interisland shipper Young Brothers updated its shipping schedule Thursday, anticipating that Kahului Harbor will not be closed, but that the port of Kaumalapau on Lanai and Kaunakakai will be shut down by the Coast Guard today. For updates, go to http://www.youngbrothershawaii.com.

Visitors are urged to heed warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials and warned of rip currents and contaminated shorelines due to run-off.

Fuel your vehicle. Store and secure outdoor objects and loose, lightweight objects. Prepare to cover window and door openings with boards, shutters are other shielding materials.

Stock up on bottled water, toilet paper, rice, and essentials.

Fo those interested in shelters, the county said Thursday that locations, including pet–friendly shelters, will be announced as needed. The MauiBus will Shuttle residents to shelters for free if needed.

Lastly, be safe out there. Hurricane season lasts until November 30!

(All information sources from the Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com, as of Friday, October 17, 2014.)

A hui hou. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

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