HI-EMA NEWS RELEASE: Pair of hurricanes Ignacio and Jimena approach islands; Public urged to prepare over weekend

Posted on Aug 28, 2015 in Latest News, Newsroom, Press Releases

HONOLULU — National Weather Service (NWS) reported this morning that Ignacio maintained its Category 1 strength overnight and is expected to strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane sometime today. Forecasts show Ignacio weakening back to Category 1 status as it approaches, and impacts to the state could be felt as early as Sunday evening.

As of 8:30 a.m., Ignacio was located 840 miles east-southeast of Hilo and is moving toward the west-northwest at 10 mph. The current track remains highly uncertain, however, all islands are within the cone of uncertainty so should prepare for impact early next week.

“We understand the public is fatigued from experiencing four major approaching storms so far this season, but we urge people to take the weekend to prepare their homes and families for impacts that could be felt statewide,” said Doug Mayne, Administrator of Emergency Management. “Severe weather associated with Ignacio is expected, and with Jimena not far behind, we need to ready ourselves and our loved ones as much as possible with the time we have. We will continue to work with our county, state and federal partners and leadership to monitor the storms and provide the public with timely updates as we receive them.”

Governor David Ige and the county mayors have been involved with daily NWS briefings via video teleconferences between Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), local emergency management and civil defense agencies, and federal and state partners. They will continue to participate through the weekend as the storms continue their approach.

East and southeast facing shores of Hawaii Island and Maui can expect advisory-level surf on Saturday and warning-level increases Sunday through Monday. Tropical Storm force winds could begin to impact Hawaii Island as early as Sunday evening.

If Ignacio tracks across all islands, impacts include extreme hurricane force winds, storm surge and widespread flash flooding. If the system tracks to the north or south of the state, there is potential for extremely gusty winds, heavy rain and thunderstorms. Hurricane Hunters will fly into Ignacio this evening, which should provide a more accurate forecast of strength and track.

HI-EMA recommends residents and visitors take the following actions to prepare for any possible hurricane or tropical cyclone:

  • Discuss plans with family members about what you plan to do if a hurricane or tropical storm threatens. Make an action plan, which should include details such as whether your family will shelter in place or evacuate to a shelter.
  • Download the Ready Hawaii app from the iTunes or Google Play! store. This app can aid in your emergency planning and will list shelters if they are opened for evacuation.
  • Walk your property, checking for small outdoor items that could be picked up by high winds and check for potential flood threats. If time and conditions permit, clear your gutters and other drainage systems.
  • Stay tuned to local media broadcast channels and 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.
  • Set aside an emergency supply of any needed medication and keep a copy of your prescriptions in case you run out of medication after a disaster.
  • Visitors should download and read the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Travel Safety Brochure at http://www.travelsmarthawaii.com.

NWS is also closely monitoring Jimena, which remains a potential threat to the islands. It is currently a Category 3 hurricane, and will rapidly strengthen to reach Category 4 status tomorrow. Forecasts show the system weakening slightly and crossing the 140W degree line into the central pacific on Tuesday night as a Category 3 hurricane.

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Media Contact:

Galen Yoshimoto Anna Koethe
Public Information Officer Public Relations Officer
808-733-4300 or 808-620-5408 808-733-4300 or 808-620-5422