Schools, Government Close in Hawaii as Hurricane Madeline Nears
The Big Island of Hawaii is all but shutting down in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Madeline, which is expected to make a close pass if not a direct landfall late Wednesday and into Thursday.
Public and charter schools, banks and government offices have been shuttered in the Big Island of Hawaii for Wednesday and in some cases for Thursday as well in the leadup to the arrival of Category 2 Hurricane Madeline.
Hawaii Governor David Ige also signed a pre-disaster declaration on Tuesday, freeing up state money for relief efforts.
A Hurricane Warning was issued for Hawaii County, which includes the Big Island, on Tuesday. Surf could exceed 20 feet in spots, and heavy rainfall and extremely strong winds exceeding 80 miles-per-hour (MPH) are expected to lash the Big Island, particularly along the sparsely populated south coast.
The Big Island of Hawaii has never taken a direct hit from a hurricane in recorded history. Records date back to 1949.
A Flash Flood Watch remains in place for Wednesday and Thursday on the Big Island, where some spots could pick up as much as 15 inches of rain before the system moves away.
Tropical Storm Watches were posted for Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe in anticipation of Madeline.
Additionally, current Category 4 Hurricane Lester is expected to track close to Hawaii this weekend and could also pose similar threats once again this weekend.
Stay with WeatherNation for all the latest.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi