Public Forum To Reduce User Conflicts In Oahu Surf Breaks

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is hosting a public forum to generate discussion about a management concept designed to reduce user conflicts in specific surf breaks in the waters off of Oahu.

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Jefferson Elementary School cafeteria at 342 Kapahulu Avenue in Waikiki, Oahu.

SafeSurf

Proponents of the concept, representing a movement called “Safe Surf Hawaii,” are suggesting the creation of a framework for separating user groups competing for waves in the same surf breaks with the ultimate goal of improving safety and reducing user conflicts.

What’s being proposed:
A one year pilot project, in which, during a limited number of time periods each week (i.e., Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, from 3 to 9 p.m.), standup paddleboarders (SUPs) would not be permitted in the surf zones located between the entrances of Ala Moana / Ala Wai harbor and Kewalo Basin harbor.
(excerpt from http://www.safesurfhawaii.com).

“The department was asked by Safe Surf Hawaii to solicit comments from the general public and gauge acceptance of this plan to limit use of SUPs in this waterway,” said William J. Aila, Jr. DLNR chairperson. “If the concept gains wide support, the department may consider rulemaking as a way to formalize the plan. However, the support would need to be nearly unanimous among all users.”

Representatives of Safe Surf Hawaii will be given an opportunity to present their plan before the floor is opened to discussion.

DLNR faced a similar challenge when user groups asked for the department to ban the use of SUPs in the waters of Ala Moana Lagoon. Instead of creating a rule, the department elected to install a series of buoys and suggested a voluntary separation of the conflicting uses in 2010.

“Our goal at that time was to reduce the user conflicts and create a safe environment for all users, but without a formal rule change that would have prevented access to these high-value ocean waters for a specific user group.”

“In our opinion, the Ala Moana Lagoon decision was very successful,” Aila said. “Once we installed the SUP corridor, complaints stopped coming in. No one was prevented from accessing the resource. What we are hoping is that discussion and understanding can again help us resolve a growing problem.”

The department encourages all ocean users to comment on the proposed plan and/or suggest other solutions by attending the meeting in person or by sending comments to DLNR’s generic address for receiving comments at dlnr.HarReview@hawaii.gov.

The meeting location is disability accessible. If special needs are required (i.e., large print, taped materials, sign language interpreter, etc.), call Clifford Inn on Oahu at (808) 587-1972 at least three business days prior to the public forum.

Pahoa Roundabout Contract Awarded – Pre-Construction On Schedule To Begin In September

The state Department of Transportation (HDOT) advises motorists well in advance of an upcoming detour as it plans for construction of the new Pahoa Roundabout on Hawaii Island. Beginning in mid- to late September the HDOT anticipates construction signage will begin to go up and construction preparation work will begin as the contractor prepares a temporary detour route.

pahoa round

The detour is anticipated to be put in place in mid- to late October, closing the Pahoa Bypass and diverting traffic onto Pahoa Village Road and Kahakai Boulevard.

Detour conditions will be as follows:

  • Complete closure of Pahoa Bypass Road from Pahoa Village Road to Kahakai Boulevard
  • 24-hour detour onto Pahoa Village Road and Kahakai Boulevard
  • Temporary traffic signal at the intersection of Pahoa Village Road and Kahakai Boulevard
  • Detour speed limit of 25 mph
  • Left turn pocket lane created for Pahoa Marketplace

The $4.8 million project awarded to Isemoto Contracting Co. Ltd, in June of 2014, is expected to begin pre-construction activities in September with completion in summer of 2015. The purpose of this project is to provide a safe, efficient, and accessible facility for all users including motorists, pedestrians, cyclists. The project was needed to address safety and traffic congestion as well as address future increases in traffic volumes.

The HDOT is working to schedule a public meeting prior to opening the upcoming detour. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for early October. Please stay tuned as more information on the meeting will be forthcoming as the date, time and location are finalized.

 

Leaders Begin Process of Developing Hazard Mitigation Plan for Albizia on the Big Island

Today, Senator Schatz met with Mayor Kenoi’s cabinet, HELCO, State Senator Ruderman, Director of Civil Defense Darryl Oliveira, representatives from the Big Island Invasive Species Council and the U.S. Forest Service, to begin the process of developing a hazard mitigation plan for albizia on the Big Island.

Senator Brian Schatz is back in Puna today.  Earlier he could be spotted handing out supplies to Hurricane Iselle victims at the Nanawale Longhouse.

Senator Brian Schatz is back in Puna today. Earlier he could be spotted handing out supplies to Hurricane Iselle victims at the Nanawale Longhouse.

Agreement was reached by all parties that all levels of government share responsibility for dealing with the hazard that these trees pose, and that the federal, state, and county government would provide financial and other resources towards this mitigation plan. HELCO also agreed, subject to approval by the PUC, to participate in the hazard mitigation program.

The next steps are to assemble all key stakeholders, and develop a hazard mitigation plan with a budget, and determine cost sharing. The target timeframe is to assemble the key stakeholders, and develop a preliminary hazard mitigation plan as soon as possible.

“Albizia wreaked havoc on power infrastructure and damaged private property, and we have to work together to minimize the likelihood that this happens again. I’m thankful for Mayor Kenoi’s leadership and assistance in helping to put together the resources necessary to mitigate this problem.”

DLNR Sponsors Archaeological Violation Investigation Class

DLNR

Anyone driving by an open field on the edge of downtown Hilo recently may have spotted several dozen people gathered around holes marked with yellow flags. This was the field exercise for an Archaeological Violation Class sponsored by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD). Combining two and a half days of classroom instruction, police officers from state and federal agencies, prosecutors and archaeologists participated in the field exercise to practice and test their crime scene investigation skills. The class was taught by Archaeological Damage Investigation and Assessment, a Missoula, MT-based company.

Martin McAllister, the company’s principal and a former U.S. Forest Service archaeologist, explained that archaeological or antiquity crimes constitute a $7 billion dollar a year illegal industry in the United States. “Most members of the American public think this is a low-level, casual type of situation,”McAllister said. “Interpol, the international police force, ranks it as one of the top five crimes in money that’s made every year and certainly there are artifacts here in Hawaii that would bring hundreds of thousands of dollars on the black market.”

SHPD Administrator Alan Downer added: “The most common archaeological crime in Hawaii is the looting of burial caves and historical sites. This class gives investigators and archaeologists the additional skills and knowledge to conduct thorough, scientifically sound investigations as part of a multi-prong effort that begins with awareness, followed by detection, investigation and ultimately prosecution.”

In addition to the field exercise, participants learned about the looting, collecting and trafficking network; about state and federal statues used to prosecute archaeological violation cases; and about the factors associated with archaeological crimes.

Medical Marijuana Policy Advocates Announce Series of August Events on Oahu, Hawai‘i Island

The Drug Policy Forum of Hawai‘i and the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i (co-founders of the Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii) have announced three free, public events on medical marijuana policy in August.

Medical Marijuana Meetings

Light refreshments will be served. RSVPs are requested by 8/20, walk ins welcome, space permitting. RSVP for any event to: office@acluhawaii.org or call (808) 522-5906. Neighbor Islands call toll free, 1-877-544-5906. All venues ADA-accessible, request special accommodation by 8/18.

  • Oahu, Saturday, 8/23/14: “Policy Perspectives on Medical Marijuana” featuring Robert Jacob, Mayor of Sebastopol, CA and Executive Director of Peace in Medicine, a non-profit healing center and cannabis dispensary, and James Anthony, a former Oakland City prosecutor, now a full time attorney specialized in medical cannabis dispensary land use law. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Blaisdell Center Maui Room (second floor), 777 Ward Avenue.
  • Hilo, Sunday, 8/24/14: “Policy Perspectives on Medical Marijuana” repeats. 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., Hilo YWCA, 145 Ululani Street.
  • Kona, Friday, 8/29/14: “Medical Marijuana TalkStory”. A free form conversation among patients, caregivers, doctors and advocates conducted by staff of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii. 2pm to 4pm at the Royal Kona Resort, in the Resolution Room. 75-5852 Ali‘i Drive.

DLNR/Division of Forestry & Wildlife Crews Assist with Hurricane Clean-up

Hurricane Iselle brought down or damaged thousands of trees in Hawaii Island’s Puna District. At the request of Hawaii County, DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife crews have been operating chain saws and heavy equipment to clear entire trees, large limbs and other vegetation debris from roads in the Pahoa area.

iselle dlnr

Each day, since last Saturday, 12-16 DOFAW workers have felled countless trees, mostly invasive, non-native Albizia trees on main thoroughfares and side roads. Many of these roads were blocked, trapping people on their properties when the towering Albizia trees crashed down during the tropical storm.

DLNR Chair William J. Aila, Jr., said, “Teams from all of DLNR’s divisions have been working hard, often around the clock, to assess and if necessary repair damage caused by the storm. We opened state parks, forests and other recreational facilities as quickly as possible with safety for our staff and the people of Hawaii being paramount.”

DOFAW administrator Lisa Hadway singled out the sawyers helping to reopen roads on the Big Island. “It is tough, dirty, demanding, work; none of these people complain as they know they’re helping their friends, visitors and in some cases their own families,” she said.

 

Senator Russell Ruderman on Friday’s Historic Vote – Endorses Schatz

Senator Russell Ruderman

Senator Russell Ruderman

Aloha Puna voters,

I hope you are all safe and recovering from Iselle. Hopefully most of you have electricity, and the rest will have it soon!

The voting issues caused by the storm are complex and frustrating. I am doing all I can to draw attention to the need for Puna voters impacted by the storm to have a fair opportunity to vote. For those assigned to a Pahoa voting place who were unable to vote, the issue remains unresolved.

For those assigned to HPP or Keonopoko, you will vote this Friday at Keonopoko, 7 am – 6 pm.

Both HPP voters and Keonopoko voters will vote at Keonopoko!

I am writing to encourage you to vote on Friday if this includes you. Due to the delayed voting, you will be the deciding votes in at least 3 races:

U.S. Senate
State Rep. Dist. 4
County Council Dist. 4

I urge you to vote for Brian Schatz for U. S. Senate.

Brian has been helpful in our crisis. More importantly he has reached out to me long before this election, before Puna become the momentary center of attention.

Brian has an excellent understanding of Puna’s real needs, including our need for transportation improvements, medical and emergency services, communications and connectivity, and more. Brian will be taking the lead in seeking funds for albizzia control as a long term, disaster preparedness issue.

Brian is approachable, honest, sincere, humble, and cares about people.

Above all, for me, Brian is a true environmentalist. He has shown concern for global warming, getting off oil, and invasive species, among other. Such concern is exactly what we need in Washington.

So please vote on Friday if you are in this group, and vote for Brian Schatz for U.S. Senate.

Mahalo,

Russell Ruderman, Hawai‘i State Senator

Puna Power Restoration Update From HELCO

Crews continue to make progress on restoring power to customers affected by Tropical Storm Iselle. An estimated 6,800 – or about eight percent – of customers remain without power, down from an estimated 8,100 on Monday.

Today's update from HELCO

Today’s update from HELCO

“We understand many of our customers are still dealing with a very difficult situation. We are devoting every available resource to this effort. We have made progress and are committed to restoring power as quickly as possible,” said Darren Pai, Hawaii Electric Light spokesman.

Electrical line crews from West Hawaii have been redeployed to assist with the restoration. They joined a workforce that includes crews, equipment, and vehicles from East Hawaii, Oahu and Maui. Additional contracted crews include electrical line workers, construction crews to dig holes for new utility poles, and tree trimmers to clear fallen trees.

Collectively, these resources are allowing Hawaii Electric Light to maximize its efforts on restoring power in neighborhoods that are still without power.

Today, electrical line crews expect to make progress in the following areas: Hamakua, Upper Puna, Ainaloa, Hawaiian Beaches, and Hawaiian Paradise Park. Contracted crews will also be working in Leilani Estates and Nanawale. In addition, contracted tree trimming and construction crews are working to clear fallen trees, debris, and dig utility pole holes. This work is needed to prepare the area for electrical line crews to set new poles and repair fallen power lines and other damaged equipment. Restoration progress may be impacted by access to due storm debris, fallen trees, or other conditions in the field.

Every community in the Puna district was impacted. There are pockets throughout the region where the damage is so severe that customers should be prepared for an extended outage. Although crews are making progress and restoration in many areas may be much faster, preliminary estimates indicate it could take up to three weeks to restore power to the areas with the most significant damage, and in some cases even longer. These estimates are still preliminary and actual restoration times for each location will depend on the extent of the damage.

As a safety precaution, customers should not handle or move any fallen or damaged utility equipment. Customers are also reminded not to approach any downed power lines, as they may have electricity running through them and can be dangerous. If you see someone injured by a downed power line, call 9-1-1 for assistance.

Hawaii Electric Light continues to operate its Customer Information Center at the Hawaiian Shores Community Center in Hawaiian Beaches. An estimated 300 to 400 people visited the center when it opened on Monday. Company representatives will be on hand to answer questions from the public and provide the status of repairing the damage. Customers may bring their electronic devices and get them charged. A charging station will be available at the center. The center will remain open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. as the restoration process continues.

Senator Ruderman on “Dismissive Attitude Displayed By Election Officials” in Puna District Following Hurricane Iselle

I wish to express my concern for the people of Puna and my dismay at the seemingly dismissive attitude displayed by election officials concerning the primary elections in the Puna District.

Senator Russell Ruderman

Senator Russell Ruderman

Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Iselle on Friday, August 8, election officials made the decision to close two polling stations in the Puna district: Keonepoko Elementary School and at the Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Center. The decision was logical at the time, given that major roads to these polling stations were inaccessible due to fallen trees and electrical poles.

Unfortunately, however, there appear to be systemic, troubling failures in how this and subsequent decisions were carried out.  Residents who were able to reach these two polling stations despite the hazards were turned away and told that ballots would be mailed to them. This was initially a good plan, and allowed for the voters to address their immediate needs due to Hurricane Iselle. In the aftermath, election officials changed their minds and decided, without consideration of conditions on the ground (many residents are still without power, water, or internet) to instead require walk-in voting this Friday, August 15.  I am greatly concerned that the Election Office’s plan to mail notices and post signs on the sides of highways will not suffice due to number of residents that are still trapped and without communications.

I personally tried to contact Mr. Scott Nago, Chief Elections Officer, and to notify the offices of the actual candidates numerous times during the weekend to get some kind of update on what was happening on the ground, in the district. My calls went unanswered until late Monday when Mr. Nago contacted me AFTER a decision had already been made. Even during our conversation, Mr. Nago still failed to notify me of that decision.  This is extremely troubling and unfortunate.

Furthermore, many residents were assigned polling stations that remained opened; however, they could not reach them. These residents are not being offered an alternative means at all to cast a ballot. This is unacceptable, especially in light an analysis of Election Day precinct turnout showing an 11.5 percent turnout at Keaau High School, a 12 percent turnout at Pahoa Community Center and a 12.3 percent turnout at Pahoa High and Intermediate School. Mountain View Elementary School had a 14.3 percent turnout and an overall statewide turnout of 41.4% according to data compiled by the state Office of Elections clearly illustrates that turnout was badly affected.

These low numbers are in sharp contrast to the much higher turnout in the previous two elections, and indicate to me that many people who would normally have voted, could not because of the storm. These are my constituents, whom I know to be astute, active, and vocal when it comes to the political process. They are now being effectively disenfranchised by the unwillingness of election officials to take them into account. This is one more example of the unfairness of someone in Honolulu making a decision that unnecessarily punishes the people on a neighbor island without knowing, or seemingly caring, what the real conditions are on the ground.

Hawaii Law requires that the voting process to be complete 21 days after the primary election. My question is, why was a decision so hastily made to designate Friday the 15th as the day for elections for the two affected areas, when so many residents along Red Road, in Pohoiki, and other areas of Puna are still trapped by fallen trees? Not only is it is physically impossible for these voters to get to a polling station (and there is no plan to extend voting for hundreds of people in this situation), but the majority of these voters aren’t even aware that the decision has been made to reschedule the election in the first place.

The Governor, under Hawaii Revised Statutes 128-9(60 (6) Election hours, has the authority to adjust the hours for voting to take into consideration the needs of the citizens during such emergencies.

Hawaii Revised Statutes 128-9(60 (6) Election hours. To adjust the working hours of the voters during the national emergency and other emergency conditions, and for the purpose to suspend those provisions of section 11-131 which fix the hours for voting, and fix other hours by stating the same in the election proclamation or notice, as the case may be.

It is imperative that allowances be made to address the concerns and rights of eligible voters to be allowed to participate in our elections process. We still have the time and resources necessary to make amends and avoid the inevitable lawsuits that will be forthcoming should the decision to hold the voting on Friday stand. It is incumbent on officials to take the necessary actions to guarantee that all are afforded their Constitutional rights under law to that participation.

Sincerely,

Senator Russell E. Ruderman, Hawaii State Senate – 2nd District

SNAP Hurricane Victims Eligible for Money for Food Losses Caused by Hurricane Iselle

Thousands of Hawaii households remain without electricity in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Iselle this past weekend.  Most people affected by power outages reside on the east side of Hawaii Island. Others are scattered across Oahu and Maui County.

Senator Brian Schatz helps make chili and rice bowls at the Hawaiian Beaches Community Center in Puna, Hawaii.

Senator Brian Schatz helps make chili and rice bowls at the Hawaiian Beaches Community Center in Puna, Hawaii.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) reminds beneficiaries of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly known as Food Stamps) that beneficiary households may request reimbursement for the actual dollar value of food destroyed by storm related power outages.  The reimbursement cannot exceed the household’s current monthly allotment (HAR 17-681-31).

To qualify for reimbursement, the affected household must have been participating in the SNAP when the disaster occurred, and report the loss to the DHS Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division (BESSD) within 10 business days of the severe weather event. The deadline to submit reimbursement requests for food spoiled during Tropical Storm Iselle is Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014.

To be considered for the reimbursement, the affected SNAP household must provide the DHS BESSD a signed statement that includes the following information:

1) Name of the storm and dates of impact;

2) General list of food items lost due to storm related power outage;

3) Length of time household power was out of service;

4) Statement that the household is aware of the penalties for the intentional misrepresentation of the facts; and

5) Statement that the household is aware that SNAP replacement allotment will not be issued if the required statement is not signed and returned within 10 days.

BEFORE MAILING OR DROPPING OFF the reimbursement request, SNAP beneficiaries should contact the BESSD Processing Center that maintains their case file for additional instructions. Individuals who don’t know which Processing Center maintains their file may call (808) 586-5720 to inquire.

An estimated 98,000 households currently receive SNAP benefits statewide.  There are approximately 25,000 SNAP households on Hawaii Island; 5,000 on Kauai; and 12,000 in Maui County.  To learn more about the Hawaii SNAP, visit the DHS website www.humanservices.hawaii.gov/bessd/snap.

Postponed Elections to Be Held Friday at Keonepoko Elementary

Chief Election Officer Scott Nago, in consultation with the State Attorney General, Department of Defense and the Office of the County Clerk, announced today that an election will be held on Friday, August 15th at Keonepoko Elementary School for the two polling places whose election was postponed due to Hurricane Iselle.

Elections 2014

Only voters who are assigned to Hawaiian Paradise Community Center (04-01) and Keoneopoko Elementary School (04-02), who did not previously vote by absentee mail ballot or at an early vote site will be allowed to vote.

Polling place hours will be from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Voters in line at 6:00 p.m. will be allowed to vote. Final results of the 2014 Primary Election will be released the same evening at www.hawaii.gov/elections.

Public Information Meeting on Planned Improvements at Hapuna Beach

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of State Parks will hold a community information meeting on its planned improvements at Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area. The meeting will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, in the dining hall in the mauka section of the park.

Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach

State Parks staff will describe and seek community input on proposed repair and renovation improvements of existing facilities in various park locations that include: roadway and pathway improvements, new foot showers, new rinsing shower, pavilion and barbecue facility improvements, comfort station repairs and renovations, improvements to picnic areas on the south end, stairway and pathway improvements at the Waialea section of the park, and related improvements to comply with current regulations and requirements, including the Americans with Disability Act.

“DLNR is committed to improve our facilities and management of Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, said State Parks Administrator Dan Quinn. “We are implementing these planned facility improvements and interested in community input to assess options to improve this park for residents and visitors.”

(To get to the dining hall, take Old Puako Road from Queen Kaahumanu Highway, then turn mauka, across from the makai entry to the beach and follow the road past the A-frame cabins to the dining hall at the top of the hill. There is a small parking lot for the facility and also ample open space parking in the unpaved areas of this section).

Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area is a beach park, with restrooms, picnic pavilions, picnic tables, lodging, trash cans, drinking water, and payphone. There is hiking along the Ala Kahakai coastal trail. It is located on Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Highway 19), 2.3 miles south of Kawaihae.

Coast Guard Reopens All Hawaii Ports – Continue to Monitor Julio

The Coast Guard has reopened all ports in the State of Hawaii following the passing of Tropical Storm Iselle through the Hawaiian Islands.

Commercial traffic and port operations may be resumed and these ports are now in Condition V.

All Coast Guard vessels and aircraft will return to their normal safety, security and law enforcement patrols.

Hurricane Julio

Hurricane Julio

The Coast Guard will continue to monitor Hurricane Julio and heavy weather conditions for each port will be updated as information becomes available.

Although the storm has passed the public is advised to use extreme caution around the water as the lingering effects of the storms may last for several days, generating high surf, rip currents and poor water conditions. The public should heed all warnings from local lifeguards or posted placards regarding public health and safety.

  • Condition V: Seasonally readiness, 1 June – 30 November
  • Condition IV: The ALERT condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 72 hours.
  • Condition III: The READINESS condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 48 hours.
  • Condition II: The WARNING condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 24 hours.
  • Condition I: The DANGER condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 12 hours and until the storm has passed and is no longer a threat.

DLNR Opens Some Areas After Arrival Of Iselle Storm System

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) announces limited openings of its state-managed park and forest lands in the wake of the Iselle storm system.

Lava Tree State Park

Some areas will remain closed as a precautionary measure for public safety until personnel can assess the areas for damage such as downed trees and make any necessary repairs. Status updates will be provided as soon as they are available.

AREAS REMAINING CLOSED:

All areas managed by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), including forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, forest hiking trails, and game management areas, until further notice

  • County of Hawaii – Lava Tree State Monument and MacKenzie State Recreation Area
  • City and County of Honolulu – Aiea Loop Trail
  • County of Kauai – All state parks remain closed

ALL OTHER STATE PARKS ARE OPEN

DOFAW and the Division of State Parks continue to suspend issuance of camping permits for state forest and park campgrounds.

Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) small boat harbors remain open.

The public is asked to remain cautious. Storm impacts continue to affect the islands, including flooding, high wind, wave actions, and muddy trail conditions.

All Public Schools Resume on Monday Except Waiakea High

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) will resume regular public school schedules and student activities on Monday, Aug. 11, with the exception of Waiakea High.

DOE ReleaseDozens of DOE schools served as emergency shelters from Thursday, Aug. 7 through Saturday, Aug. 9. An estimated 400 individuals sought shelter at Waiakea High during those days. Waiakea High staff will report to work on Monday to get the school back in order for students’ return on Tuesday.

“Our employees, especially our Complex Area Superintendents and principals worked around the clock in caring for students and school communities during the stormy weather,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We appreciate their dedication in going above and beyond to help with the emergency needs of our communities.”

Hawaii Island facilities reported minimal damage due to strong winds; however, most of DOE facilities were not affected by the storm.

DOE officials continue to monitor Hurricane Julio, which is north of the state. Keep up to date with DOE’s latest announcements at HawaiiPublicSchools.org or on Twitter at @HIDOE808.

For information on Charter Schools, visit http://www.chartercommission.hawaii.gov/ or charter school parents are advised to contact their child’s school.

Coast Guard Instructs Pleasure Crafts to Seek Sheltered Waters Before Iselle Hits

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port has set Heavy Weather Condition 2 for commercial ports on the Island of Hawaii at 4 p.m., and throughout Maui County at 9 p.m. All other ports remain in condition 3.

Hurricane Iselle

All pleasure craft were instructed to seek sheltered waters.

Vessels transiting within the vicinity of the Hawaiian Island harbors should seek sheltered waters until storm conditions subside and anticipate harbor closures at the discretion of the COTP as storm conditions progress.

  • Condition V: Seasonally readiness, 1 June – 30 November
  • Condition IV: The ALERT condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 72 hours.
  • Condition III: The READINESS condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 48 hours.
  • Condition II: The WARNING condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 24 hours.
  • Condition I: The DANGER condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 12 hours and until the storm has passed and is no longer a threat.

Heavy Weather conditions for each port will be updated as information becomes available regarding potential wind conditions for the islands.

All ocean going commercial vessels and ocean going barges greater than 200 gross tons are expected to make preparations to leave the ports by the following times:

  • Hawaii (Big Island) Hilo – 4 a.m., Aug. 7, 2014
  • Hawaii (Big Island) Kawaihae – 7 a.m., Aug. 7, 2014
  • Maui County Kahului – 9 a.m., Aug. 7, 2014
  • Maui County Kaunakakai and Kaumalapau – 12 p.m., Aug. 7, 2014

Vessels that desire to remain in port must submit a safe mooring plan in writing to the COTP and receive permission to remain in port.

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.

Port Assessment Teams will document all activities using logs, photographs and any other appropriate means.

The Coast Guard will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners and fax out a Marine Safety Information Bulletin to notify the reopening of the port and any special conditions.

Civil Defense 6:30 PM Message on Hurricane Iselle

A HURRICANE WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE BIG ISLAND. 
A HURRICANE WARNING CONTINUES FOR WATERS AROUND THE BIG ISLAND. 
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING CONTINUES FOR OAHU...MOLOKAI...LANAI... 
KAHOOLAWE...MAUI. 

Hurricane Iselle
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING CONTINUES FOR WATERS AROUND OAHU...MAUI 
COUNTY WATERS...PAILOLO CHANNEL AND ALENUIHAHA CHANNEL. 
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH CONTINUES FOR NIIHAU...KAUAI. 
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH CONTINUES FOR KAUAI NORTHWEST WATERS... 
KAUAI WINDWARD WATERS AND KAUAI LEEWARD WATERS. 
A FLASH FLOOD WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR ALL OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS. 
 
.STORM INFORMATION... 
 
AT 5 PM HST...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE ISELLE WAS LOCATED NEAR 
LATITUDE 17.7N...LONGITUDE 147.5W...OR ABOUT 515 MILES 
EAST-SOUTHEAST OF HILO HAWAII AND ABOUT 720 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST 
OF HONOLULU HAWAII. HURRICANE ISELLE IS MOVING WEST-NORTHWEST AT 
18 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 90 MPH. 
 
.SITUATION OVERVIEW... 
ISELLE IS EXPECTED TO BRING HEAVY RAINS...HIGH SURF AND DAMAGING 
WINDS. HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP ON THE BIG 
ISLAND OF HAWAII ON THURSDAY. TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE 
EXPECTED TO SPREAD TO MAUI COUNTY THURSDAY NIGHT AND TO OAHU ON 
FRIDAY. SWELLS GENERATED BY ISELLE WILL BUILD TONIGHT...POSSIBLY 
BECOMING DAMAGING ALONG SOME COASTLINES ON THURSDAY. HIGH SURF IS 
EXPECTED TO REACH THE ISLANDS AHEAD OF THE HEAVY RAINS AND STRONG 
WINDS. THE HIGH SURF MAY BRING COASTAL FLOODING...PARTICULARLY 
WHEN COMBINED WITH AFTERNOON ASTRONOMICAL HIGH TIDES. THE THREAT 
OF COASTAL FLOODING AND PROPERTY DAMAGE WILL BE GREATEST ON 
WINDWARD BIG ISLAND. 
WHILE THERE IS STILL SOME UNCERTAINTY IN THE EXACT TRACK AND 
STRENGTH OF ISELLE...THE BIG ISLAND AND MAUI ARE EXPECTED TO BE 
IMPACTED FIRST. 
 
.PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... 
 
.NEXT UPDATE... 
 
THE NEXT LOCAL STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED AROUND 1230 AM HST...OR 
SOONER IF CONDITIONS WARRANT. 
 
...HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT... 
 
...PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... 
 
...WINDS... 
BASED ON THE LATEST FORECAST TRACK...WINDS OVER 40 MPH ARE 
EXPECTED TO BEGIN OVERSPREADING THE AREA THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND 
EARLY THURSDAY EVENING. IN SOME AREAS...WINDS WILL BE AS HIGH AS 
60 TO 70 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 85 MPH ON THURSDAY NIGHT. 
DAMAGING WINDS ARE EXPECTED. SOME DAMAGE TO BUILDING STRUCTURES 
COULD OCCUR...PRIMARILY TO UNANCHORED STRUCTURES...SUCH AS SCHOOL 
PORTABLES. SOME DAMAGE IS LIKELY TO POORLY CONSTRUCTED SIGNS. 
LOOSE ITEMS LEFT OUTDOORS WILL BECOME PROJECTILES...CAUSING 
ADDITIONAL DAMAGE. PERSONS STRUCK BY WINDBORNE DEBRIS RISK INJURY 
AND POSSIBLE DEATH. NUMEROUS LARGE BRANCHES OF HEALTHY TREES WILL 
SNAP. SOME TREES WILL BE UPROOTED...ESPECIALLY WHERE THE GROUND 
IS SATURATED. MANY AREAS WILL LIKELY EXPERIENCE POWER OUTAGES 
WITH SOME DOWNED POWER POLES. 
GUSTS WILL BE STRONGEST OVER MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN...THROUGH 
PASSES...AND WHERE WINDS BLOW DOWNSLOPE. WINDS AFFECTING THE 
UPPER FLOORS OF HIGH RISE BUILDINGS WILL BE SIGNIFICANTLY 
STRONGER THAN THOSE NEAR GROUND LEVEL. 
 
...STORM SURGE AND STORM TIDE... 
SURF WILL STEADILY INCREASE ALONG THE BIG ISLAND WINDWARD COAST 
TONIGHT...AND REACH HAZARDOUS LEVELS AS THE STORM APPROACHES. 
SURF HEIGHTS WILL REACH 15 TO 25 FEET ON THURSDAY AND THURSDAY 
NIGHT. THE ASTRONOMICAL HIGH TIDE FOR HILO BAY IS 120 PM AT 2.8 
FEET ON THURSDAY AND 203 PM AT 3.0 FEET ON FRIDAY. THE HIGH SURF 
AND HIGH TIDE COMBINATION WILL BRING COASTAL FLOODING ALONG LOW 
LYING AREAS. STORM SURGE IS EXPECTED TO REACH 1 TO 3 FEET DURING 
THE STORM PASSAGE...ADDING TO THE THREAT OF COASTAL FLOODING AND 
PROPERTY DAMAGE THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND NIGHT. 
 
...INLAND FLOODING... 
 
A FLASH FLOOD WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR THE ENTIRE AREA. HEAVY 
RAINFALL OF AROUND 5 TO 8 INCHES IS EXPECTED WITH ISOLATED 
RAINFALL TOTALS OF 12 INCHES. THESE HEAVY RAINS COULD LEAD TO 
LIFE THREATENING FLASH FLOODS.

Civil Defense Update for Hurricane Iselle

This is a civil defense message.

This is a Hurricane Warning information update for Wednesday August 6th at 12:00 Noon.

Hurriane Iselle

The National Weather Service has issued a Hurricane Warning for  the Island of Hawaii remains in effect.  A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions can be expected within the next 36 hours.  The hurricane conditions will include high surf and surge along all coastal areas, heavy rains and possible thunder showers that may present with flood conditions, and sustained storm force winds of over 75 mph and higher gusts.  Residents and visitors are advised to take precautions and to prepare for hazardous conditions.  Boat owners are advised to check moorings and to secure all vessels.  All preparation activities should be completed before tonight.  Hurricane Iselle continues to be monitored and is currently located approximately 625 miles east southeast of Hilo and moving west northwest at 16 miles per hour.  Although hurricane Iselle had previously shown signs of weakening current assessment show the system is maintaining hurricane force conditions.  Hurricane Iselle will continue to be monitored and additional updates will be broadcasted as information is made available.  All schools are open today however the following schools will be closing at 2:00 PM today and the after school programs and activities at these schools will be suspended:

  • Laupahoehoe School
  • Kohala HS & Elem.
  • Kealakehe HS
  • Konawaena HS
  • Hilo HS
  • Waiakea HS
  • Keaau HS
  • Pahoa HS & Int
  • Honokaa HS & Int
  • Kau HS
  • Waikoloa Elem

The department of Education reports that all Hawaii Island Schools will be closed tomorrow Thursday August 7th.

In addition, all beach parks will be closed effective tonight and remain closed until conditions improve and it is safe to reopen.

Updated information for the Big Island, Maui county and the surrounding coastal waters.

Situation overview

Iselle is expected to bring heavy rains, high surf and damaging winds. Hurricane conditions are expected on the Big Island of Hawaii on Thursday. Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread to Maui county Thursday night and possibly to Oahu on Friday. Swells generated by Iselle are expected to reach the main Hawaiian islands today, possibly becoming damaging along some coastlines starting late tonight or Thursday. High surf is expected to reach the islands ahead of the heavy rains and strong winds. The high surf may bring coastal flooding, particularly when combined with afternoon astronomical high tides.

While there is still some uncertainty in the exact track and strength of Iselle, the Big Island and Maui are expected to be impacted first. The rest of the state remains at Risk to experience the impacts of Iselle.

Hawaii Island and Maui County State Courthouses Closing Due to Projected Hurricane Iselle

State Courthouses and Judiciary Offices on Hawaii Island and Maui County will be closed beginning at noon on Thursday, August 7 through Friday, August 8, due to severe weather conditions being projected by the National Weather Service.

The closures include the Children’s Justice Centers, Offices of the Public Guardian, and Driver’s Education Offices on Hawaii Island and Maui County.  In addition, Drivers Education classes scheduled on Maui County for August 7 will be cancelled and rescheduled. Family Court hearings scheduled at the Molokai Courthouse on Thursday, August 7 and Friday, August 8 will be rescheduled to Thursday, August 28 and Friday, August 29.

The Chief Justice issued the order attached extending deadlines for any Hawaii Island or Maui County Court matters with a filing or hearing date of Thursday, August 7 or Friday, August 8.  All documents due during the Court closure will be considered timely if filed by the close of business on Monday, August 11.  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.

Big Island and Maui County Courthouses are expected to reopen on Monday morning for business.

At this time, Courthouses and Judiciary Offices on Oahu and Kauai County will be open for business as usual.  We will provide updates if there are any changes or additional closures.

Hawaii State Closing Areas in Preparation of Hurricane Iselle

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is advising the public to follow instructions of State Civil Defense 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 tropical storm system Iselle as early as Thursday on the Big Island.

Iselle

Both Iselle, and Julio in its wake, are evolving storm systems whose track and intensity may be affected by various weather factors. However, people should heed National Weather Service reports and be ready in event of emergency situations.

DLNR is asking for the public’s cooperation with this announcement of area closures as the storms approach. Additional closures may follow as the storms approach. People are advised to avoid forested and coastal areas due to potential for rising streams, flash flooding, falling trees or high surf.

Areas closing on Wednesday August 6:
Hawaii – By 6 p.m., Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will close all of its managed lands, including forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, Na Ala Hele hiking trails, game management areas, including Keanakolu cabins, Ainapo hiking trail, Muliwai trail and Waimanu valley campground until further notice. DOFAW has suspended issuing camping permits.

Maui County – By 6 p.m., Maui DOFAW will close all of its managed lands, including forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, Na Ala Hele hiking trails, game management areas (including Lanai GMA); this closure also affects Polipoli State Park (persons with camping permits are being notified).

Oahu – DOFAW has closed the Peacock Flats camping area to hiking and camping, and the Manoa Falls trail.

Kauai – By 6 p.m. DOFAW camping areas, including Waimea Canyon, Alakai Wilderness, Sugi Grove and Kawaikoi will be closed. As of Wednesday morning, Division of State Parks will close Napali Coast State Wilderness Park and the Kalalau trail will be closed to entering hikers. Trail closed signs will be posted at the Kalalau trailhead. State Parks will send a helicopter out on Wednesday to warn campers at Kalalau beach to evacuate or shelter in place.

Division of State Parks is suspending issuance of any new park camping permits statewide that would begin before Tuesday August 12th. This directive may be modified island by island as the track of the storms and their effects become known.

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.