Rarely Hit, Hawaii Now Braces for 2 Hurricanes

Iselle and Julio to strike tonight and Sunday

By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 7, 2014 11:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – Tag-team hurricanes Iselle and Julio will thrash Hawaii in a one-two punch that starts tonight—the first time in 22 years the islands have been directly hit. Category 1 Iselle is expected to maintain 85 mph winds when it makes landfall on the Big Island tonight. It’s "not a major hurricane, but definitely enough to blow things around," a meteorologist tells the AP; up to 8 inches of rain is expected. Iselle should weaken as it passes through the island's volcanic terrain into tomorrow morning. Just behind Iselle, Julio is a bit fiercer Category 2, with winds estimated at 100 mph; it'll pick up speed before weakening tonight and hit Sunday as a tropical storm, reports NBC News. The last hurricane to hit Hawaii was Iniki in 1992, which killed six people.

Vacations are being disrupted by the storms. Island Air has canceled flights to Maui and Lanai, the Washington Post reports. Hawaiian Airlines will decide today whether to follow suit, adds the Hawaii Tribune-Herald; on the ground, state parks are closed and beachgoers are enjoying the last shreds of nice weather. One Boston resident booked his two-week Maui and Big Island vacation last year and has been eagerly watching weather reports. "We're all optimists, so we'll make the best of it," he tells the AP. Weather officials had warned this season would be an active one in the region, with up to seven tropical storms—probably due in no small part to El Nino.

Shoppers stock up on cases of bottled water and other supplies in preparation for a hurricane and tropical storm heading toward Hawaii at the Iwilei Costco in Honolulu on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014.
Shoppers stock up on cases of bottled water and other supplies in preparation for a hurricane and tropical storm heading toward Hawaii at the Iwilei Costco in Honolulu on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014.   (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
Shoppers lift cases of bottled water in preparation for a hurricane and tropical storm heading toward Hawaii at the Iwilei Costco in Honolulu on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Two big storms so close together is rare in the eastern Pacific. Hurricane Iselle could make landfall by Friday and Tropical Storm...
Shoppers lift cases of bottled water in preparation for a hurricane and tropical storm heading toward Hawaii at the Iwilei Costco in Honolulu on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Two big storms so close together...   (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
This image provided by NOAA taken Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, shows Hurricane Iselle, center, and Hurricane Julio, right.
This image provided by NOAA taken Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, shows Hurricane Iselle, center, and Hurricane Julio, right.   (AP Photo/NOAA)
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