Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pass the Battens, Stand By the Hatches!

Hurricanes are unusual here in Hawaii. Only a couple have hit us dead on in the last 20-plus years. But when they do show up, they can be real doozies. Hurricane Iniki brushed Oahu back in 1991 and smacked Kauai straight on and with full force. The head of that island's Public Works Department told me that Ikiki generated 30-years-worth of trash and debris in the 90 minutes that it took to pass over that island. No one really knows how string the winds were that day; the storm blew down all the meteorological equipment.

Which brings me to lovely Felicia. She's lovely because she has just been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm and, just a bit ago, to a tropical depression. Whew!

That said, Felicia will still be passing directly over Maui according to the latest from the weather guys. For all practical purposes, the projected path of the storm will be north of the Big Island and -- yep -- right over our house (see above). All indications are this won't be a big deal, but we'll probably get some high winds and a lot of rain -- and when it rains hard here, it really pours, often several inches an hour.

The center of the storm should arrive a little after 1:00 p.m. today and by coincidence my daughter, her husband and my 5-year-old granddaughter are due to arrive at 1:25 from the west coast for a week-long visit. How's that for timing!

Looks like an eventful day, but not to worry: our portable generator is gassed up and ready to go, so the beer will stay cold. I mean ... first things first, right?

2 comments:

Mike said...

Hey Jim, good luck w/ the TD. We've (so far, knock wood) enjoyed an uneventful hurricane season here on the east coast, but memories of Isabel in '03 remain fresh.

Thanks for the great recaps of your recent travel to your ol' stompin' grounds. Really did enjoy them greatly!

JIM LOOMIS said...

As it turned out, Felicia was downgraded to a tropical depression before it arrived over Maui. Fortunately. When these Pacific storms shoe up at full force, they are terrible indeed. The last big one -- Iniki, in 1991 --had top winds of ... well, no one really knows, because it blew down all the meteorological equipment. The Public Works director on the Island of Kauai told me that Iniki generated 30-years-worth of trash and debris in two hours. Wow!