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Tropical Storm Olivia fades but still packs rain and wind

World News | Published:

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

Tropical Storm Hawaii

A gradually weakening tropical storm has hit Hawaii, soaking a part of Maui and sending gusts of wind that toppled trees and cancelled flights at a number of airports in the state.

Maui mayor Alan Arakawa urged residents and visitors to stay off the road until the Tropical Storm Olivia passed, but he was hopeful the effects of the storm on his county would be limited.

“It’s been an ordeal but we’re coming through this fairly well,” Mr Arakawa said.

“I’m not seeing any really large areas of damage, no homes destroyed or flooded to any kind of extreme measures as we did in previous storms.”

The Central Pacific Hurricane Centre said Olivia was about 45 miles south of Honolulu on Oahu, the state’s most heavily populated island.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

Tropical Weather Hawaii
Waves break as Tropical Storm Olivia approaches Oahu (Caleb Jones/AP)

The storm made landfall twice: once in the west Maui mountains and again on Lanai before continuing to move further west.

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Lori-Lei Rawlins-Crivello, owner of one of the two petrol stations on the small island of Molokai, said she was watching a nearby river rise.

She closed her Texaco service station in the afternoon. Most stores in Kaunakakai, the island’s largest town, were closed, she said.

A flash flood warning was issued for Molokai island and Maui. A wind gust of 51 mph was recorded at the airport on the island of Lanai.

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A rain gauge recorded 7.72in of rain in 24 hours at West Wailua Iki on Maui.

The storm, which was a hurricane earlier in the week, slowly lost power as it neared and crossed the state.

Tropical storm warnings were cancelled for the Big Island and Kauai, but remain in place for Oahu, Maui and small islands surrounding Maui.

Schools, courts and government offices were closed in Maui County in preparation for the storm.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) sent emergency teams and supplies to Maui ahead of the storm. The National Guard has mobilized personnel and trucks to the east side of Maui.

President Donald Trump has signed a disaster declaration for Hawaii, which will help Fema respond, Governor David Ige said.

Hawaiian Airlines cancelled flights by its commuter airline, Ohana by Hawaiian.

Tropical Storm Hawaii
Rising water in Kaunakakai, Hawaii, on Molokai island (Lori-Lei Rawlins-Crivello via AP)

Public schools on the Big Island, Oahu and Kauai were open.

Tourists, such as Randy McQuay from Texas, were not letting the storm dampen their holidays.

“No, coming from Houston we’re used to storms and hurricanes,” he said. “Didn’t expect to find one in Hawaii, but yeah we’re used to it.”

Solana Miller, who lives on Oahu’s North Shore, said she was not too worried about Olivia.

“I feel like it’s mainly just going to be some rain and wind, but we’ll see. The last storm was supposed to be a category 5 hurricane and it was just a couple hours of rain,” she said.

Ms Miller said she has leftover preparations from when Hurricane Lane passed near the state last month.

“We kind of just kept all the water and the cans of food and stuff,” she said, “so if anything really hits we’ll be fine.”

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