The Maui News - On Monday, July 29, as the Maui Weekly prepared to go to press for its Aug. 1 issue, weather officials announced that Tropical Storm Flossie had taken a turn toward Maui County with tropical storm conditions expected to begin hitting the island later that day.
The storm was moving west-northwest at about 16 mph and its track put Maui in its path. The storm with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph Sunday morning strengthened overnight but then weakened slightly as it moved closer to the Hawaiian Islands, said Michael Cantin, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service, at a news conference on O'ahu on Sunday afternoon. Some weakening was expected on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said.
The tropical storm warning and flash flood watch was in effect for all the islands of Maui County. The weather service warned that the heavy rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, especially in the mountains.
Temporary shelters were opened throughout the county. The University of Hawai'i Maui College was closed as were county offices and facilities, and Maui's ports.
Dangerously large high surf in the range of 12 to 18 feet built along east-facing shores and was expected to peak late Monday morning and continue into Tuesday, Cantin warned. Large surf can cause coastal road closures and storm surge, especially on the eastern side of Maui, which can see minor to moderate coastal inundation in flood-prone areas.
Flossie was expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 6 to 10 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches possible, mainly in windward areas.
During events of this nature, the public is urged to stay tuned to the latest updates by watching or listening to the news and monitoring the Maui County Website at www.mauicounty.gov. Prerecorded advisories and notifications are available 24 hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System by calling 986-1200.
For storm-related questions or to report damage, call Maui County Civil Defense at 270-7285.
NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling (866) 944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found atwww.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.