Hurricane Douglas: Hawaii Braces for ‘Triple Threat’


Hurricane Douglas gained strength as it skirted just north of Hawaii late on Sunday, but so far spared the islands the direct hit that forecasters had feared.

The hurricane pelted some areas with winds of 90 miles per hour and torrential rains as it passed by Oahu on Sunday, the National Hurricane Center reported. A hurricane warning remained in effect late Sunday for the western islands of Kauai and Niihau, but forecasters expected the storm to pass north of the islands.

If Douglas, which was downgraded to a Category 1, made landfall over the islands, it would have been only the third hurricane in modern times to do so.

Though the islands avoided a direct hit, the combination of high water levels, storm surge and large breaking waves could raise water levels by as much as two feet above normal tides near the center of the storm, the center warned.

Forecasters predicted three to six inches of rain on the main Hawaiian islands, possibly contributing to flash flooding and landslides.

Earlier in the day, Maui County asked residents to shelter in place or move to an emergency shelter immediately if they lacked a safe place to weather the storm. Much of the county has already been through the brunt of the storm with minimal damage, said Mayor Michael Victorino of Maui County.

Tourism has been severely affected by both the storm and the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Victorino said. On any given day, the county received about 8,000 visitors. Over the last few days, there have been less than 50 visitors per day, which has made the job of emergency management much easier.



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