HI-EMA NEWS RELEASE: Ignacio weakens to category 3 hurricane on path north of Hawaii

Posted on Aug 30, 2015 in Latest News, Newsroom, Press Releases

HONOLULU — Governor David Ige joined Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), local emergency management and civil defense agencies, and federal and state partners this morning at the Birkhimer Emergency Operations Center for a National Weather Service (NWS) briefing on the latest status of Hurricane Ignacio.

Based on the updates provided, there are no state government closures scheduled at this time so state agencies are expected to operate as usual tomorrow, Monday, August 31. However, Hawaii Island and Maui County are still determining whether or not closures need to be made as they will be the first to feel Ignacio’s impacts. The public should monitor county websites for updates at:

Ignacio has weakened to a Category 3 hurricane, and its track has shifted slightly to the north-northwest. As of 5:00 p.m., Ignacio’s center was located approximately 355 miles east of Hilo moving to the north-northwest at 9 mph. Forecasts show the storm moving across the northern edge of the Hawaiian Islands, and may begin weakening slowly today as it approaches increasing wind shear.

“I’d like to thank our emergency management partners for their diligent efforts in monitoring Hurricane Ignacio and for keeping the public informed during this critical time,” said Governor David Ige. “Ongoing coordination at all levels of government ensures that we are as best prepared as we can be during times of emergency. We appreciate the public’s continued preparedness as we are only halfway through this year’s hurricane season.”

“Although Ignacio is forecasted to move north of our state, the system is very large so we ask the public to continue preparing for weather impacts, such as high winds, heavy rain and possible thunderstorm conditions,” said Doug Mayne, Administrator of Emergency Management. “We’ll remain in constant coordination with our partners to monitor the situation, and we ask that the public do the same by staying tuned to local broadcast networks.”

Hawaii Island and Maui County are still in a Tropical Storm Watch, and may see the onset of tropical storm force winds sometime on Monday. High surf will impact east and southeast facing shores of both islands today through Tuesday. East facing shores of Oahu and Kauai will see an increase in surf heights beginning Tuesday.

To prepare for the possibility of tropical storm conditions, such as high winds, heavy rain and thunderstorms, HI-EMA recommends the public take the following precautions as Ignacio approaches the state:

  • Identify small outdoor items that could be picked up by high winds. Make a plan to bring these items indoors if a hurricane/tropical storm watch or warning is issued.
  • Follow the Department of Education online at http://www.hawaiipublicschools.org for the latest information on possible school closures. Make sure you know the closure notification procedure if your children attend a private or charter school.
  • Check with local officials and the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) if you plan to hike or camp next week. Parks and other trails may be closed depending on the weather forecast. Visit the DLNR website at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/blog/category/news/ for the latest closure information. 
  • Listen to ocean safety officials and exercise caution if entering the water as high surf messages are issued.
  • High winds may affect your travel plans. Check with your airline prior to any planned flights in the coming week.
  • Visitors should download and read the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Travel Safety Brochure at http://www.travelsmarthawaii.comhttp://www.travelsmarthawaii.com
  • Download the Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Natural Disasters, which includes helpful tips to lower your risk of damage to your home from a natural disaster athttp://seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu/sites/default/files/publications/webhomeownershandbooknatural_hazards_0.pdf.

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