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Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak Climbs to 241 Cases

Since the last update, Hawaii Department of Health has identified 13 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 64 have required hospitalization.

hepatitis header

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Ten (10) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and four visitors have returned to the mainland.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A
241

Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 8/25/16.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Now Closed Until Further Notice

To ensure the safety of visitors and employees, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will close at noon today until it is determined safe to reopen.

NPS Photo

NPS Photo

Park staff and volunteers not directly involved in storm efforts were directed to stay home. Guests at Kīlauea Military Camp and Volcano House will shelter in place, or if necessary, be directed to the nearest shelter.

Rangers will assess impacts from Hurricane Madeline at 8 a.m. Thursday. The strongest winds are predicted to hit the park between noon and 2 p.m. Wednesday. Forecasters predict the park could see up to 10 inches of rain, maximum winds of 45 mph up to 75 mph (depending on the storm’s track), and dangerously high surf.

“The closure will continue until we have a chance to assess the impact to the park and mitigate any damage. With Hurricane Lester right on the heels of Madeline, and still a Category 4 hurricane, we could end up continuing the closure for a few days until it’s safe to reopen,” said Chief Ranger John Broward.

Rangers will determine by Friday if the Kahuku Unit, open only on Saturdays and Sundays, will remain closed over the weekend.

Updates will be posted to the park’s website www.nps.gov/havo, and its official social media sites.

Hawaii International AgriTourism Symposium

Hawai‘i AgriTourism Association (HATA) will host the state’s first Hawai‘i International AgriTourism Symposium on October 15, 2016 at the College of Hawaiian Language: Ka Haka ‘Ulu O Ke‘elikōlani, in Hilo. Industry experts from Hawai‘i, New Zealand and Japan will share their forecasts, trends and tips on how they compete on a global stage. They will share what visitors from their regions are looking to experience in AgriTourism, as well as perspectives on how they have diversified agricultural operations in innovative ways to increase profitability, reduce risk, and protect rural communities.

agritourism symposium

This global symposium aims to help people get on trend with the connections between agriculture and travel/tourism. The industry is an “economic multiplier” that impacts restaurants, lodging, health, and education. For every dollar spent at an AgriTourism farm, an additional $2.25 is spent within the community in food, fuel, and retail.  The ripple effect continues with home based and small businesses that create value add products from the farm crop such as jams, baked goods, and beauty or health products.

As a popular and highly marketable segment of Hawai‘i’s $10-billion dollar visitor industry, AgriTourism is poised to take off in the next decade. It’s not only a viable part of the economy; it’s also an important way to preserve our island lifestyles and culture.

AgriTourism offers farmers and small businesses an incredible opportunity to expand their business using creative approaches, and innovative partnerships. This symposium will show how the state’s largest economic industries, tourism and agriculture, merge to create economic diversity and innovation that visitors will pay for.

Farmers who include an AgriTourism component in their marketing plan can see substantial financial benefits. AgriTourism can provide the difference between a profitable and an unprofitable farming operation, and between a sustainable and an unsustainable agricultural region. With the potential of this niche market expanding at such a fast pace, there has never been a better time to learn more about AgriTourism.

Online Registration for Hawai‘i’s International AgriTourism Symposium is open at www.hiagtourism.org.  Vendors who wish to sell products at the Hawai‘i Marketplace may also register online as well.  For more information, please contact Lani Weigert, lani@hiagtourism.org.  Space is limited, early registration encouraged.

Hawaii State Insurance Commissioner Advises Residents to Review Insurance Policies

In preparation for Hurricanes Madeline and Lester, state Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito advises residents to review their homeowner’s, hurricane, and flood insurance policies.

Lester

“With back-to-back hurricanes approaching Hawaii, reviewing your insurance policy should be part of your readiness plans,” said Ito. “Policyholders should know what type of insurance they have, what is covered under each policy, and the proper steps to take both pre- and post-storm.”

The Insurance Division also offers the following disaster preparedness tips:

  • Secure property to prevent and limit damage. Minimize the possibility of damage as much as possible to ensure the safety of yourself and your family.
  • Take an inventory of your property and belongings. Policyholders can take pictures, videos or use the free MyHome Sr.APP.book mobile app released by the National Association of Insurance Commissions (NAIC). This step can help save time in the event that a homeowner needs to file a claim, and will improve their chances of fully recovering what their policy covers.
  • Have contact information for your agent or insurer handy. Ask questions about your policy, coverage, the claim process, and identify who to contact to file a claim.
  • Review your deductible levels. This is the amount of money a policyholder will be responsible for if a claim is filed. Check with your agent or insurer to see if the claim payout is reduced by the deductible rather than paying upfront.
  • Talk with your insurer to find out the specific language that triggers a hurricane policy. Most hurricane insurance policies are triggered once a hurricane “watch” or “warning” is issued by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service, and coverage ends 72-hours after the hurricane watch or warning has been cancelled.

For more hurricane preparedness tips and information on filing a claim post-event, visit cca.hawaii.gov/ins.

The Hawaii Insurance Division oversees the Hawaii insurance industry; issues licenses; examines the fiscal condition of Hawaii-based companies; reviews rate and policy filings; and investigates insurance related complaints.

Hurricane Lester May Move into the Central Pacific Basin this Afternoon

At 200 PM PDT (2100 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Lester was located near latitude 18.0 North, longitude 139.9 West.

LesterLester is moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours.  A turn toward the west-northwest is forecast on Thursday.  On the forecast track, Lester will move into the central Pacific basin this afternoon.

Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts.  Lester is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 954 mb (28.17 inches).

Hurricane Warning Discontinued for Hawaii County

The Hurricane Warning has been discontinued for Hawaii County. A Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect for Hawaii County.

madeline15At 1100 AM HST (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Madeline was located near latitude 18.6 North, longitude 154.2 West. Madeline is moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 km/h). This general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.

Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts.  Steady weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles (20 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km). During the past couple of hours, tropical storm force winds of 43 mph gusting to 51 mph have been reported at Kamuela Airport in Hawaii County.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 991 mb (29.27 inches).

Big Island Amateur Radio Emergency Service Districts Activate to Support Possible Hurricane Response in Hawaii

ARRL Pacific Section Emergency Coordinator Clement Jung, KH7HO, has announced the activation of all four Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) districts on the Big Island of Hawaii, to support each other and served agencies as two hurricanes — Madeline and Lester — threaten. A hurricane watch remains in effect for Hawaii County.

amateur radioA SKYWARN net activated on August 31 as Hurricane Madeline approached the Big Island, and KH6SW went on the air from the National Weather Service (NWS) Honolulu Forecast Office on HF, VHF, and UHF. A second SKYWARN activation for Hurricane Lester will begin on September 2 at 10 PM (0800 UTC on September 3), continuing until Monday, September 5 at noon (2200 UTC).

As of 1200 UTC, Madeline, now a category 1 storm, was located about 200 miles east of Hilo and 410 miles east-southeast of Honolulu, with maximum sustained winds near 90 MPH. The storm is moving to the west at 12 MPH.

As of 0900 UTC, Hurricane Lester, a much stronger category 4 storm, was some 1160 miles east of Hilo, with maximum sustained winds of 140 MPH and moving to the west at 12 MPH. NOAA has advised interests in Hawaii to monitor Lester’s progress.

ARES teams were set to initiate local repeater nets, holding 146.52 MHz simplex in reserve in case repeaters go down. Plans call for using HF (7.180 and 3.975 MHz) to relay traffic via Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) nets to the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency Emergency Operations Center (EOC). SKYWARN traffic will use Fldigi MT63 1KL or voice on 7.080 MHz (USB), with 3.888 MHz (LSB) as an alternate frequency, and 7.095 MHz available to support informal and tactical traffic.

Jung said that if Hawaii Emergency Management Agency RACES is activated, it will monitor 7.088 MHz (LSB) for voice and Fldigi MT63-1KL. Until then, SKYWARN will be the statewide HF net control station on 7.080 MHz (USB) for voice and Fldigi.

Hawaii Gov David Ige has declared a state of emergency in the state, with the Big Island under a hurricane warning for Madeline. The National Weather Service has indicated that hurricane conditions could occur on the Big Island within the next 24 hours. Public schools in Hawaii have been closed, and the governor was urging residents of the Big Island to take steps to protect people and property. A dozen schools have been designated to serve as emergency evacuation shelters.

In addition to HF, KH6SW will operate on these repeaters:

  • 146.660 (EARC, Windward Oahu)
  • 146.760 (DEM RACES, Peackcock Flat, North Shore Oahu)
  • 146.800 (EARC, Manakapu, Oahu)
  • 146.880 (DEM RACES, Diamond Head)
  • 146.980 (DEM RACES, Downtown Honolulu)
  • 147.060 (State RACES, Diamond Head)
  • 444.350 (State RACES, Diamond Head)

Satellites Show Hurricane Madeline Weakening Upon Approach to Hawaii

This animation of NOAA's GOES-West satellite imagery from Aug. 29 to Aug. 31 shows the movement of Hurricane Madeline approaching Hawaii in the Central Pacific Ocean and Hurricane Lester in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. TRT: 00:34 Credits: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

This animation of NOAA’s GOES-West satellite imagery from Aug. 29 to Aug. 31 shows the movement of Hurricane Madeline approaching Hawaii in the Central Pacific Ocean and Hurricane Lester in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. TRT: 00:34
Credits: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

GOES Video of Madeline’s Approach to Hawaii

Hurricane Madeline was a powerful Category 4 storm that has now weakened to a Category 1 storm as it nears the Big Island of Hawaii. NOAA’s GOES-East satellite has been continuously capturing imagery of the storm that showed the structure has been weakening. Two NASA satellites confirmed that the storm was weakening.

Visible and infrared imagery from NOAA’s GOES-West satellite was compiled and made into an animation showing the progression and strengthening then weakening of Madeline between Aug. 29 and 31. The animation was created at the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

At 7:20 a.m. EDT (1120 UTC) Infrared data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite showed cloud tops northeast of the center as cold as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Cold cloud tops indicate the area of strongest storms that stretch highest into the troposphere. The higher they are, the colder the air temperature.

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Aug. 31, Forecaster Birchard of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) noted “After a period of rapid intensification that ended early Tuesday (Aug. 30), Madeline has been rapidly weakening since Tuesday afternoon, primarily due to increased vertical wind shear. Latest satellite images show that the cyclone’s structure has degraded significantly, with the center estimated to be on the southwest side of the cold cloud tops.”

In imagery from NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite taken at 7:29 a.m. EDT (1129 UTC) there was an indication that the low-level center of Madeline was becoming partially exposed to outside winds, and when NASA-JAXA’s Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed overhead around the same time, GPM data confirmed the exposed center.

At 2 p.m. EDT (8 a.m. HST), NOAA’s CPHC noted that a Hurricane Warning is in effect for Hawaii County, and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Maui County including the islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe.

At that time the center of Hurricane Madeline was located near 18.7 degrees north latitude and 153.6 degrees west longitude. That’s about 120 miles (195 km) east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii. Madeline is moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 kph) and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph (120 kph) with higher gusts. Steady weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Madeline is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm later today or tonight. The estimated minimum central pressure is 990 millibars.

NOAA’s CPHC noted the following forecast for winds, surf, rain and storm surge:

  • Hurricane conditions are expected to develop over portions of Hawaii County later today and continue into early Thursday. Tropical storm conditions are expected to develop over Maui County later today and tonight, especially over mountains and where winds blow downslope from higher terrain.
  • Swells generated by Madeline are expected to increase across

Hawaiian waters today, possibly becoming damaging along east facing shores of Hawaii County and eastern portions of the Island of Maui today and tonight.

  • Madeline is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 5 to 10 inches, with isolated maximum amounts near 15 inches, across Hawaii County, especially over windward portions. Total rainfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches, with isolated maximum amounts up to 4 inches, can be expected in the islands of Maui County. This rainfall may lead to dangerous flash floods and mudslides.
  • Depending on the track of Madeline, the combination of storm surge and tides could cause normally dry areas near the coast to become flooded. The water could reach 1 to 3 feet above ground if peak surge were to coincide with high tide. The surge would be accompanied by large damaging surf and can vary over short distances.

Hurricane Madeline 11:00 PM Update

At 1100 PM HST (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Madeline was located near latitude 19.2 North, longitude 151.5 West. Madeline is moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 km/h) and this motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.

madeline14Maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph (150 km/h) with higher gusts. Steady weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 980 mb (28.94 inches).

DLNR Announces Closures Ahead of Hurricane Madeline

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is closing state forest and park areas on the islands of Hawaii and Maui, in anticipation of the effects of Hurricane Madeline.

DLNRDLNR is asking for the public’s cooperation with this announcement of area closures as the storm approaches.  Additional closures may follow over the week, and updates will be provided to news media and on the department’s website.

People are advised to avoid forested and coastal areas due to potential for rising streams, flash flooding, falling trees or high surf as well as ocean water surging and sweeping across beaches and rocky coastal benches and lava flows. Roads and trails may become impassable with falling trees, landslides, and floods. High surf may impact coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways.  Powerful longshore and rip currents will be present at most beaches.

DLNR areas closing today, Tuesday August 30:

HAWAII ISLAND –

Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will close this evening all forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, Na Ala Hele hiking trails, forest campgrounds and game management areas, including Keanakolu cabins, Ainapo hiking trail, Muliwai trail and Waimanu valley campground until further notice.  Camping permits for this weekend are cancelled until further notice.

Division of State Parks is closing its park campgrounds, pavilions and cabins starting tonight. All Big Island parks will remain closed tomorrow and will not re-open until conditions warrant.

The use of state park cabins and pavilions will be restricted starting tomorrow, Wednesday, August 31, until further notice.

Persons holding camping and cabin permits are being notified by staff, and offered a refund or an alternate date.  An email blast to Kealakekua Bay kayak permit holders was issued to inform them of the approaching storm.

Those with reservations on following days should check with the Hawaii State Parks office.

DLNR areas closing tomorrow, Wednesday August 31:

HAWAII ISLAND –

Division of State Parks will close all Big Island park campgrounds, pavilions, cabins along with Lava Tree State Monument, Mackenzie State Recreation Area and Manuka State Wayside on Wednesday. All other Big Island State Parks will remain open until end of the day on Wednesdayand then will not re-open until storm assessments are conducted and the conditions are determined safe enough for reopening.

Commercial tour vessels and recreational vessels that use Kealakekua Bay are advised to cancel tours and stay out of the Bay – unless vessel captains need to use the bay as a safe harbor for the vessel if they are caught at sea in the storm.

Persons holding camping and cabin permits are being notified by staff, and offered a refund or an alternate date. Those with reservations on following days should check with the Hawaii State Parks office.

MAUI COUNTY –

Division of Forestry and Wildlife will close by noon Wednesday all of its managed lands, including forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, Na Ala Hele hiking trails, game management areas.

Division of State Parks – Polipoli State Park will be closed, but all other Maui State Parks will remain open on Wednesday, and with considerations based on storm assessment for closure on Thursday.

Other DLNR areas:

OAHU –

Forestry and Wildlife and State parks  – No closures at this time. Storm conditions will be monitored and closures will be announced as required.

KAUAI –

Division of Forestry and Wildlife — No closures at this time. Storm conditions will be monitored and closures will be announced as required.

State Parks (and Kalalau trail) – No changes at this time. Storm conditions will be monitored and closures will be announced as required.

DLNR’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) does not plan to close any state small boat harbors but is advising boaters to monitor VHF radio for Coast Guard information on port closures and other safety advisories. Large breaking waves and strong currents may impact harbor entrances and channels causing challenging boat handling.  The Coast Guard reminds recreational boaters to secure boats and boating equipment. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to protected marinas where they are less likely to break free of their moorings or be otherwise damaged. It may be advisable for smaller boats to be pulled from the water and stored in a location not prone to high winds or flooding. Regardless of location, all loose items aboard vessels need to be secured or removed.

Hurricane Madeline is an evolving storm system whose track and intensity may be affected by various weather factors. People should heed weather reports and be ready in event of emergency situations, including power or water outages and flooded or blocked roads.

DLNR also urges people to follow instructions of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HEMA) and County Civil Defense agencies to prepare for the possibility of heavy rain, flooding, strong winds, power outages, large surf and coastal surge with the arrival of Hurricane Madeline in Hawaii as early as this afternoon.

Visitors to Hawaii should heed all warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials. Although weather conditions may appear favorable, rip tides and high surf often impact beaches far in advance of the actual storm. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to strong storm generated waves and currents. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches and out of the water until local officials say the water is safe. Near shore waters may become contaminated due to runoff up to several days following a storm.

Guiding Restoration of Hawaiian Fishponds

Loko i‘a, or traditional Hawaiian fishponds, are unique aquaculture systems that existed throughout ancient Hawai‘i. Although a 1990 statewide survey identified 488 loko i‘a sites, many were in degraded condition, and either completely beyond repair or unrecognizable.

fishponds2However, there is hope, as communities and stewardship groups continue to actively restore or have expressed interest in reviving the integrity and productivity of fishpond locations still in existence.

Suzanne Case, Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair says, “In 2012, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations came together to overcome difficulties in obtaining approvals from multiple agencies, to maintain and restore Hawaiian fishponds.”

fishpondsFishpond practitioners formed Hui Malama Loko I‘a to empower one another and leverage their skills, knowledge and resources, while working to feed and connect communities around the islands.  This network currently includes over 38 fishponds and complexes, with over 100 fishpond owners, workers, supporters and stakeholders.

Case adds, “Now the DLNR Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands is releasing a new guidebook on fishpond restoration in time for the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016. This guidebook marks the beginning of what we hope will be a new day in Hawaiian fishpond revitalization,” she said.

Fishponds3The newly published, high-quality, full-color “Ho‘ala Loko I‘a Permit Application Guidebook” is intended to help cultural practitioners, landowners and community groups navigate a new streamlined application process for Hawaiian fishpond revitalization.

Historically, fishponds have been subject to an extensive permitting process that requires large amounts of resources and time to secure. So in 2015 the State of Hawai‘i completed streamlining the permitting process for the repair, restoration, maintenance and operation of traditional Hawaiian fishponds in Hawai‘i.

The DLNR Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) and collaborators have developed a master permit for traditional Hawaiian fishponds that encompasses the main permits currently required. This master permitting process and program is called “Ho‘ala Loko I‘a.” The program was designed to be in compliance with as many federal and state regulations as possible to make the permitting process easier for fishpond practitioners to navigate.

Practitioners can now use a simplified conservation district use permit to apply for permits under this programmatic permit.

A programmatic environmental assessment (EA) was also completed to comply with the Hawai’i Environmental Quality Act (HEPA). The CDUP and programmatic EA were designed to cover all existing traditional fishponds in the State.

fishponds4Another helpful step was the signing of Bill 230 by Governor Ige in July 2015, which waived the need to obtain a Department of Health 401 Water Quality Certification for fishpond restoration.  This waiver is only available to projects that obtain permits through the OCCL program.  While the program vastly reduces government red tape, projects are still required to have water quality monitoring, mitigation and best management practices in place to keep Hawaii’s waters clean and reefs healthy.

The Ho‘ala Loko I‘a Permit Application Guidebook further provides clear guidance on how to meet State water quality standard.

Although this streamlined permitting program covers many of the authorizations for restoring a loko i‘a, in some cases, additional permits or authorizations may still be required, such as:

  • A right of entry agreement from DLNR land division for a state-owned pond
  • A stream channel alteration permit from the Commission on Water Resource Management)
  • A special management area county permit for work mauka of the shoreline

Applications submitted to OCCL are reviewed and subject to best management practices and monitoring standards that help to protect Hawaii’s environmental and cultural resources while supporting the need for communities and practitioners to care for
loko i‘a.

Hawaii Department of Transportation Prepares for Hurricanes

The Highways, Harbors and Airports Divisions within the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) are making preparations in advance of the severe weather forecast from Hurricanes Madeline and Lester, which are tracking toward the state. Residents and visitors should continue to monitor current conditions with the National Weather Service and media outlets.

Department of Transportation logoThe public is advised that despite precautions, ponding may still occur on the roadways if too much water falls in a short period of time, as was the case with Tropical Storm Darby on July 24, 2016 when approximately 11 inches of rain fell over Oahu within a matter of hours. The public is asked to be vigilant, monitor conditions and follow instructions from authorities. In cases of severe weather, the best option may be to stay home or indoors if possible.

HIGHWAYS:
Crews will be ready to respond as necessary should a roadway be impacted. Equipment is being staged in areas that have experienced storm damage in the past. Storm drains, particularly those in areas prone to flooding, will be checked for blockage and will be monitored to ensure they continue to function at maximum capacity. Fuel tanks are being topped off and ready for 24-hour cleanup mode.

HDOT is working with contractors on construction sites to remove the best management practices (BMP) that could obstruct the flow of water, such as drain sleeves and other filtration devices. Previously scheduled lane closures and construction projects may be altered depending on weather conditions.

As always, we strongly encourage drivers to use the many applications and resources available to check up to the minute traffic conditions. HDOT offers www.GoAkamai.org which is a website with current traffic conditions and incidents on the state freeways, 200 traffic cameras around Oahu, drive times and more. With the free MyGoAkamai feature drivers can receive customized alerts and information pertinent to their specific route, time and day they are on the road. Looking at traffic conditions in advance can help people decide which route is best or if they should adjust the time they start their trip.

There are also a variety of other free traffic related applications and services available to help people with their planning. Drivers should feel free to use whichever resource they are comfortable with. People should look up the information on their devices prior to getting behind the wheel of their car. Remember to drive safely and obey traffic laws.

HAWAII COUNTY
HDOT is preparing to close the Umauma Bridge as a precaution, as has been done in the past. The Bridge will remain open as long as possible. In the event it is closed people should expect delays in the area. Motorists should follow the signage to the alternate route on the Old Mamalahoa Highway.

MAUI COUNTY
Equipment is being staged in areas such as Hana Highway in an effort to respond to landslides and reopen roadways as quickly as possible. We are coordinating with contractors to ensure additional workers will be available if necessary.

Crews are repairing a section of Honoapiilani Highway near mile marker 13 in order to prevent further erosion damage. The repairs are in line with federal highway safety regulations.

OAHU
Crews are placing large sandbags on School Street near Liliha Street to help prevent water from flowing down to the H-1 Freeway. This is an area that experienced flooding during Tropical Storm Darby.

Crews are assessing Kamehameha Highway near Kaaawa and will work to reduce the risk of erosion damage from the high surf.

KAUAI
Crews will continue to monitor the conditions, check storm drains for blockage, top off fuel tanks, and ensure equipment is in proper working order.

HARBORS:
HDOT Harbors Division works in close coordination with the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The USCG will determine condition levels and ultimately make the decision to close a port. Certain condition levels will trigger preparations for the State to ensure harbor facilities are protected and readying the port for the possibility of strong winds and high surf. This includes securing flying hazards, ensuring boats are properly tied to piers, and ensuring oily mixtures and trash are properly disposed.  This condition will also prompt certain vessels to declare their intentions of whether they intend to stay in port if conditions change.

AIRPORTS:
HDOT Airports Division has protocols in place for pre-storm arrival preparations for any major natural disaster.  Per protocol, vehicles, emergency generators, pumping stations, and equipment are topped off with fuel.  Emergency fuel is also made ready for deployments as directed.

State firefighters stationed at the airport facilities are ready to respond to situations as necessary. Plans are in place for emergency heavy duty equipment to be secured at designated locations around the facility to provide safe haven for all equipment that would be needed to work on the airfield after the storm.

HDOT Airports Division works with the airlines to ensure equipment is secured. As a reminder, HDOT does not control the aircrafts in flight. It is up to the airline and individual pilots to determine if conditions are safe enough to fly. Passengers should consult their airline for current flight information.

Hawaii Department of Health Cites the Body Shop for Glass Advanced Disposal Fee Violations; Deposit Beverage Container Program Obtains Conviction for Fraud

The Hawaii State Department of Health has issued a Notice of Violation and Order against Buth-Na-Bodhaige, Inc. dba The Body Shop for failing to submit its annual report and payment required of glass container importers. The Body Shop was delinquent for the annual reporting period of Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2015.

Department of HealthThe State’s Glass Advanced Disposal Fee (ADF) law (Hawaii Revised Statutes Section §342G-85) requires glass container importers to submit container inventory reports and payments to the Department of Health no later than the 15th calendar day of the month following the end of the payment period. The Body Shop received an Informal Notice and Finding of Violation and Order on March 16, 2016, reminding them of reporting requirements prior to being assessed a penalty.

The Department of Health has assessed an administrative penalty against The Body Shop for the amount of $250 for failure to comply with ADF law. The Body Shop may request a hearing to contest the alleged facts and penalty. For more information on the Glass Advanced Disposal Fee Program go to http://health.hawaii.gov/shwb/sw-adf/

Maui Fraud Conviction
In other recycling news, the Department of Health’s Deposit Beverage Container (DBC) Program successfully prosecuted a Maui resident for fraud. Joel K. Liu, Jr. pleaded guilty to one count of first degree theft and four counts of forgery in the second degree for taking funds earmarked for the program.

Liu submitted false invoices to be paid from the state after being awarded a state contract to start a certified redemption center. Liu was ordered to a one-year prison term and to repay the DBC Program back $132,965. Liu’s sentence is part of his five-year probation.

State Offices Closing on Big Island Tomorrow Due to Hurricane Madeline – Some Exceptions

State offices will be closed on Hawai‘i Island on Wednesday, Aug. 31 due to expected weather conditions resulting from Hurricane Madeline.  State employees on Hawai‘i Island will be granted administrative leave and should not report to work on Wednesday. Exceptions are:

  • Departmental Disaster/Emergency Coordinators
  • Disaster Response Workers
  • Employees whose work involves continuing crucial operations/services, such as hospital workers, correctional workers, etc.

Employees in the above categories are required to report to work unless department directors determine they can be excused. If employees are unsure whether they are required to report to work, they should seek clarification from their immediate supervisor or manager.

Hourly paid employees are not entitled to administrative leave.

Hurricane Checklist for Pet Owners and List of Pet Friendly Shelters #HurricaneMadeline

With the onset of a Hurricane Madeline Warning across the Island of Hawaii, the Hawaii Island Humane Society has a few tips to help keep animals safe during and after the storm:

pet evacuation

  • Bring pets inside.
  • Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and may isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet tied up during a storm.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and ID tag.
  • Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally.
  • If you find a stray pet during the storm, please provide it shelter and then drop it off when weather conditions clear at one of three islandwide Hawaii Island Humane Society shelters in Keaau, Waimea and Kona.

HIHS encourages all pet owners to be safe and well prepared. If you are advised to evacuate or do not trust the stability of your home, please consider your pet’s safety.

Here is a list of Emergency Pet Friendly Shelters due to open at 5:00 p.m. today on our island. If you evacuate, take your pets!

  • WAIAKEA HIGH
  • KALANIANAOLE ELEMENTARY
  • KEAAU HIGH
  • PAHOA HIGH
  • HONOKAA HIGH &INTERMEDIATE
  • KEALAKEHE HIGH
  • KONAWAENA HIGH
  • KAU HIGH

Come prepared with these items:

  • Crate
  • Leash
  • Food
  • Water
  • Bowls
  • Towel
  • Litter and litter box
  • Identification
  • Medication (if applicable)

These shelters are for safety only and will not have the comforts of home. Pet owners need to stay with their pet and provide the necessary care.

We are also seeking volunteers to help us staff these emergency shelters. If you are willing and able to assist, please contact the shelter nearest to you for instructions. If you are a pet owner who is evacuating to these shelters and are willing to help, please see the staff member present.

After the Storm

Walk pets on a leash until they become re-oriented to their home. After a disaster, animals can become aggressive or defensive – monitor their behavior.

Big Island Courthouses and Judiciary Offices Closing Due to Hurricane Madeline

Hawaii Island Courthouses and Judiciary Offices to Close Due to Projected Severe Weather Conditions

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State Courthouses and Judiciary Offices on Hawaii Island will be closed on Wednesday, August 31, 2016, due to severe weather conditions being projected by the National Weather Service.

The Chief Justice issued an order extending deadlines for any Hawaii Island court matters with a filing or hearing date of Wednesday, August 31, 2016. All documents due during the court closure will be considered timely if filed by the close of business on Thursday, September 1, 2016. Hearings or trials cancelled due to the closure of the courts shall be rescheduled to the next available date with due regard for any statutory mandates. We will provide updates if there are any changes or additional closures.

Hurricane Madeline 5 PM Update

At 500 PM HST (0300 UTC), the center of Hurricane Madeline was located near latitude 19.3 North, longitude 150.3 West.

madeline12Madeline is moving toward the west near 10 mph (17 km/h). This motion is expected to continue into the evening, followed by a turn toward the west-southwest tonight through Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Madeline will pass dangerously close to Hawaii County Wednesday and Wednesday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 110 mph (175 km/h) with higher gusts.  Gradual weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

However, Madeline is expected to be at hurricane strength when it passes near Hawaii County.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 972 mb (28.71 inches).

Vacation, Leave/Comp Time Urged for State Employees in Anticipation Obama Traffic

Gov. David Ige is urging state department directors to be liberal in granting state employees vacation, leave and compensatory time to leave work early Wednesday afternoon.

President Barack Obama's motorcade leaves his rental home, Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, in Kailua, Hawaii, en route to the gym, during the Obama family vacation. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Barack Obama’s motorcade leaves his rental home, Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, in Kailua, Hawaii, en route to the gym, during the Obama family vacation. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Barack Obama’s arrival in Honolulu on Aug. 31, will result in significant closures of major thoroughfares and surface streets in the later afternoon and early evening, as the president is transported to scheduled engagements related to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Congress.

The governor is asking directors to grant vacation, leave and compensatory time as operations permit, to relieve traffic congestion on O‘ahu’s roadways and to allow thousands of state workers to meet their family commitments.

All state offices will remain open during regular business hours.

Hawaii Governor Signs Pre-Landfall Emergency Proclamation

Gov. David Ige signed a pre-landfall emergency proclamation on Tuesday, as the state prepares for possible impacts from hurricanes Madeline and Lester. The proclamation authorizes the expenditure of state monies for quick and efficient relief of disaster-related damages, losses and suffering resulting from the storms.

Click to read the full proclamation

Click to read the full proclamation

“As always, our top priority is protecting the health, safety and overall welfare of our residents and visitors. During this time, I ask residents and visitors to closely follow emergency instructions as we prepare for the storm. I urge you to take immediate steps to protect your families, loved ones, employees and property. The state is monitoring the storms and standing by to support the counties,” said Gov. Ige.

The disaster emergency relief period begins on August 30 and continues through September 9, 2016.

For the latest information from the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HIEMA) please go to:
Website: https://dod.hawaii.gov/hiema/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HawaiiEMA/timeline
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Hawaii_EMA

Coast Guard Anticipates Closing Hawaii County Ports at 8 PM Tonight #HurricaneMadeline

Coast Guard Captain of the Port anticipates closing Hawaii County ports to all traffic at 8 p.m. today.

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Vessels transiting within the vicinity of the Hawaiian Island harbors should seek sheltered waters until storm conditions subside and the COTP has deemed the ports safe to reopen.

Port closures:

Hawaii County — Hilo Harbor, Kawaihae Harbor – Anticipate port closing at 8 p.m., Aug. 30

All ocean going commercial vessels and ocean going barges greater than 200 gross tons are expected to make preparations to leave the ports by 8 p.m.

Once the storm has passed and the threat of severe weather has subsided, the Coast Guard, Army Corp of Engineers and State of Hawaii will jointly conduct surveys of channel blockage and prioritize steps to resume essential, then normal, vessel traffic. These steps are to minimize risk of damage to vessels and assess the conditions of channels, aids to navigation, waterfront facilities, piers and other infrastructure.

The COTP, in conjunction with the state DOT-Harbors in Hawaii, will begin sending Port Assessment Teams to accessible areas of the zone as soon as it is safe to do so over the weekend.

“I am committed to reopening each port as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Capt. Mike Long, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port. “Following the storm, the conditions of the ports will be evaluated and changed dependent on the port assessment.”

The Coast Guard will continue to broadcast Notice to Mariners and post Marine Safety Information Bulletins on homeport.uscg.mil/Honolulu to notify the reopening of ports and any special conditions.