Tropical Storm Iselle touched down on the main island of Hawaii early Friday morning, bringing winds of 50 mph, a deluge of rainfall and the possibility of flash floods, according to the National Weather Service. Iselle descended at 2:45 local time (8:45 ET) on the Kau coast of Hawaii, NWS reported. Iselle had been downgraded from a hurricane on Thursday, but still caused structural damage, downed trees, power outages and some flooding even ahead of the center of the storm's strike. Roofs were reportedly blown off of homes just southeast of Hilo late Thursday night, and about 25,000 customers on the Big Island lost power in the following hours, according to Hawaii Electric Light.
Iselle is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to the smaller islands of Hawaii later on Friday. Many parts of the state can expect rainfall totaling 5 to 8 inches, with the possibility of 12 inches in isolated areas, according to NWS. Public schools and government agencies were closed down statewide, according to government officials. Governor Neil Abercrombie warned residents to "stay alert, pay attention, and work with the emergency management agencies" ahead of not only Iselle but also Hurricane Julio, a Category 3 hurricane that was expected to sweep north of Hawaii, but could bring heavy winds and surf swells on the heels of Iselle's destructive forces.
— Elisha Fieldstadt
First published August 8 2014, 6:45 AM