HILO, HI — Conditions are calm in Hilo but with the island under a tropical storm watch starting Tuesday tonight, there’s a potential for damaging winds and dangerous surf on the east and southeast facing shores.
For residents on the coast, it could mean flooding, rough and choppy surf. Some residents Island News spoke to seem unphased and simply aren’t that worried.
In the meantime, Hawaii County Civil Defense is switching its focus from the lava eruptions to 24/7 hurricane watch.
Administrator Talmadge Magno says the county is “prepared” and working with the Department of Education to finalize shelters for residents and evacuees who had to flee from the lava.
Depending on the weather, Magno says the plan tonight is to relocate evacuees living in tents, and possibly even the mini homes recently built, into the Pahoa Community Shelter. While some residents seem unphased and conditions could change, the message from the county is to be prepared and plan ahead.
“We had issues during Iselle with Albizia Trees coming down. So people need to realize that could be the situation; that if roadways are blocked, they might be isolated until we get to the roads. And also with trees coming down, there’s a good possibility of losing power. So people need to be able to take care of themselves,” Magno said.
The extent of damage these conditions could cause is unclear but Magno says those plans are in place and crews are standing by.