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Friday, October 31, 2014
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The Associated Press A boy holds an umbrella to a wave in Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawaii, Friday. Iselle, the first tropical storm to hit the state in 22 years, knocked out power, caused flooding and downed trees when it crossed onto the Big Island in a rural and sparsely populated region.

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How storms shook up an island paradise

Monday, August 11, 2014 - Updated: 9:20 AM

HONOLULU (AP) -- Sunshine and blue skies returned to parts of Hawaii on Sunday after days of heavy rain and gusting winds brought by Tropical Storm Iselle, the first to make landfall in more than two decades. A second storm in the Pacific, Hurricane Julio, had tourists and residents on edge but is moving away from the islands and no longer posing a threat.

Iselle, initially a hurricane, left the most traveled and populated areas of the state largely unscathed, but toppled trees and power lines when it hit the Big Island Friday. Thousands there remained without power or any idea when it would be restored.

Here is a summary of how the storms affected Hawaii:

PREPARATIONS

With two hurricanes looming, airlines canceled flights to and from the mainland and between islands. Businesses, schools and government offices closed, boarding up windows and placing sandbags in preparation for winds and flooding. Residents emptied grocery stores of bottled water and other supplies. People battened down their homes or flowed into emergency shelters and hoped for the best.

Transit services and tourist attractions like the memorial sites at Pearl Harbor shut down.

LANDFALL

Iselle's center made landfall early Friday as a tropical storm, having weakened late Thursday about 50 miles offshore. It hit the Big Island first, pounding it with heavy rain, violent wind and ocean surges. The island's formidable volcanic mountains took a toll on Iselle, essentially splitting the spinning storm in half.

DAMAGE ON THE BIG ISLAND

While the Big Island helped curb Iselle, it also took the brunt of the storm. About 25,000 people lost electricity. Coffee farmers navigated flooded streets to check on their crops, and residents used chain saws to break up fallen trees blocking roads.

Days later, thousands remained in the dark and were told to expect extended outages. Water, ice and other supplies were flown to the area called Puna.

THE FORECAST

The National Weather Service said Hurricane Julio is moving away from Hawaii. The agency downgraded Julio, which is 400 miles northeast of Honolulu, to a Category 1 hurricane, the lowest level.

"We'll build back to the tropical paradise we've come to love," meteorologist John Bravender said of the second half of the week.

     

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