Tropical Storm Flossie nears Hawaii
Weakened but still bearing the promise of torrential rain, Tropical Storm Flossie spun slowly toward Hawaii on Monday.
As much as 15 inches of rain was forecast, along with winds of 50 mph and the threat of flash floods and mudslides, according to the National Weather Service.
While forecasters say the storm is running into conditions that appear to be weakening it, tropical storm warnings were up across much of the Hawaiian Islands, including Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kaui and Lanai.
At 5 a.m. (11 a.m. ET), forecasters said Flossie’s center was about 110 miles east northeast of Hilo, making a slight turn to the northwest at about 16 mph, the National Weather Service said. Top sustained winds were 45 mph.
While airports remained open, American Airlines said it had canceled five flights to the Hawaiian islands ahead of the storm. The airline was allowing customers to change plans without charge.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed an emergency proclamation on Sunday, evacuation shelters are open and some government offices and schools were planning to remain closed Monday. State officials closed some beaches and backcountry trails, as well.
On Sunday, ahead of widespread rainfall predicted to total up to 10 inches on the big island of Hawaii and Maui and 12 inches over Oahu — with isolated totals up to 15 inches — shoppers stocked up on water, food and other supplies.
“I got my water, I got my crackers, which is important. You don’t have to cook it on the stove, warm it up, dry, and I have my peanut butter at home. I usually have kaki mochi all dry,” shopper Alive Panui told CNN affiliate KITV.
Kaki mochi is a rice snack.