Several part-time storm chasers were trapped on a highway in Hawaii early Friday after Hurricane Iselle felled trees and blocked their route. Commodities trader Bill Beach, 49, from Chicago, told NBC News that his group was marooned in a vehicle on Highway 137 near the eastern point of the Big Island. "We have been trapped for probably the last hour," he said just after 11:30 p.m. local time (5:30 a.m. ET Friday), by which time Iselle had been downgraded to a tropical storm. "All our exits have been blocked by downed trees but we're safe."
Beach added: "We were out chasing the storm and trying to get to the eastern most point of the Big Island to see what was going on but we did not realize how many trees would come down. We saw some branches coming down on the road and kept going until we came to some very large trees blocking the entire highway. We turned back and the route we came through was also blocked."
- Iselle Weakens to Tropical Storm as Hawaii Eyes Hurricane Julio
- 'Get In the House': Family Flees Falling Trees