Iselle makes landfall, power outages and flooding reported
Friday, August 8, 2014, 10:04 AM - Iselle weakened to a tropical storm early Friday, but hurricane warnings remained in place for the Big Island.
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A tropical storm warning covers Hawaii's other islands with tropical storm conditions expected to continue through Friday night.
"Despite not making landfall as a hurricane, there is only one tropical storm on record to come in from the east and hit the Big Island, in 1958. Overall, Iselle is a rare -- if not historical -- tropical cyclone," says weather.com.
Iselle made landfall at 2:30 am HST about 10 km east of Pahala, becoming only the second tropical storm on record to landfall on the Big Island of Hawaii.
"Tropical storm conditions are expected on Oahu and Kauai county later today," the U.S. National Weather Service says.
Up to 200 mm of rain is expected along the track of Iselle, with isolated maximum amounts of 300 mm possible.
"These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods as well as rock and mud slides," officials warn.
Wind and rain has already knocked down trees, caused power outages and road blocks on the Big Island with reports of roofs removed from homes just southeast of Hilo.
Swells generated by Iselle are also producing very large and damaging surf mainly along east and south facing shores of the Big Island.
Following closely behind is Hurricane Julio, which is projected to head just north of the islands sometime early Sunday morning.
Officials say the two approaching storms within days is extremely rare.
"Dating to 1949, there is only one case where tropical cyclones with direct impact were even 10 days apart," said Kevin Roth, lead meteorologist at The Weather Channel. "That happened in 1982, when what had become Tropical Depression Daniel on July 22 was followed by Tropical Storm Gilma, which brushed the southern tip of the Big Island on Aug. 1. Incidentally, later that season, Hurricane Iwa tracked just west of Kauai in late November and caused an estimated at $234 million in damage."
Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie said the state is prepared for back-to-back storms and local governments were closing offices, schools and transit services across Hawaii.
With files from CNN