Hawaii, which rarely sees hurricanes, will be hit with two this week: Hurricane Iselle, which should arrive on Thursday, and Hurricane Julio, expected to arrive on Saturday.
Though both are on track to possibly weaken into tropical storms by the time they reach landfall, counties across the state are preparing for two full-fledged hurricanes.
Hawaii Public Radio's Bill Dorman told NPR the state is bracing itself for heavy rains, rough seas, and 60 mph winds, adding that school officials have cancelled classes for Thursday in Hawaii County and Maui County. A flash flood warning for the entire island chain will also be in effect. "That includes the most populous island of Oahu... home to Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, and the tourist magnet of Waikiki Beach," Dorman said.
The state hasn't seen many hurricanes in its history—the islands lie inside the Tropical Upper Tropospheric Trough, which creates winds that are too fast for hurricanes to develop and are not conducive to allowing formed hurricanes to remain hurricanes. According to the Associated Press, recent hurricanes that reached the island did not cause heavy damage:
"The state was washed over by Hurricane Flossie in 2007, which caused 20-foot waves but very little damage. Hurricane Neki did minor damage to a marine national monument northwest of the islands in 2009.
In 1992, Hurricane Iniki pummeled the island of Kauai, killing six people and causing estimated damages of $2.4 billion. Before that, the last recorded hurricane to hit Hawaii was the Kohala Cyclone in 1871.
Honolulu's Department of Energy Management has warned residents to prepare by keeping at least a week's worth of supplies stored.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.