Hawaii braced Monday for Tropical Storm Flossie, which could unleash up to 15 inches of rain and 60-mph winds on the islands, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Weather officials alerted residents of the possibility of flash flooding, and even mudslides, tornadoes, or waterspouts Sunday. Tropical storm warnings have been issued for Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and the Big Island.
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"These winds will be strong enough to pick up debris and things, and throw them around," Michael Cantin, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, told the Hawaii Tribune Herald
. "Really, the way it's coming into the Big Island is unprecedented. We haven't really seen this before."
The Hawaii County Civil Defense announced Sunday it would open a number of shelters for residents whose homes might be impacted by the high winds and rising waters.
"People going to shelters need to be prepared because there won't be much in the form of supplies," Daryl Oliveira, county director of Civil Defense, told the Herald. "Medications, food, and water. They should bring as much as possible. Those that aren’t going to shelters should also be preparing for the impacts over the next 24 hours. The should have plans in place, and we'll be hoping for the best possible outcome."
Officials are banking on a National Weather Service report that claimed Tropical Storm Flossie was weakening.
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"We're hoping we won’t see as much surge as we've seen in the past. Usually with a combo of heavy rain and storm surge, you have all this water trying to get into the ocean, and that creates a blockade that backs up into the streets," Oliveira said. "But based on what the Weather Service is saying, we’re optimistic we may not see as much surge. There hasn't been a lot of pre-storm rain to saturate the ground beforehand, so it may allow more water to filter through."
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