Paradise regained as weakened Iselle moves past Hawaii

Last Updated Aug 8, 2014 10:42 PM EDT

HONOLULU -- The first storm in a one-two punch heading for Hawaii clamored ashore overnight Friday as a weakened tropical storm, while a second system close behind it also weakened and was on track to pass north of the islands.

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. There have been no reports of major injuries, Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Friday.

About 21,000 homes remained without power on the Big Island, Hawaii County Civil Defense spokesman John Drummond said. At least 50 flights were canceled by several airlines.


Those staying in shelters were told to return home, while crews and some residents used chain saws to clear trees from roads.

Heavy rains and wind from the storm's outer bands hit Maui and Oahu on Friday morning but eased later in the day as Iselle swirled farther out to sea.

On Oahu's south shore, near Honolulu, the cloudy skies started to give way to patches of blue as tourists and residents ventured out to see the surf.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Julio, about 750 miles east of the Big Island, was a Category 2 storm and packed maximum sustained winds of about 105 mph. National Weather Service officials predict it will continue to weaken on a path that should take it about 200 miles north of the island chain starting sometime Sunday morning.

A graphic shows the projected track of Hurricane Julio from the National Weather Service Aug. 8, 2014.
A graphic shows the projected track for Hurricane Julio from the National Weather Service Aug. 8, 2014.
National Weather Service

If Julio stays on track, "the impacts to the islands would be minimal," Weather Service meteorologist Derek Wroe said. "We would see some large surf. ... We could see some heavy showers. That's all assuming this track holds. Otherwise, we could still see some tropical storm conditions."

Iselle hit the Big Island with a foot of rain and 60-mph winds that knocked down trees and power lines. The storm surge brought 25-foot waves.

CBS News correspondent Bigad Shaban reported from Hilo on the Big Island that despite dangerous waves and dire warnings about Iselle, some islanders still ventured out to ride the surf.

But life was quickly getting back to normal.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell gave the island of Oahu the all-clear on Friday afternoon, allowing city services like buses and trash pickup to resume.

"People were seeing nice weather, and they were going about their business anyway," he said.

About an hour after Caldwell's announcement, Maui County Civil Defense and Mayor Alan Arakawa also gave the all-clear.

Hurricanes or tropical storms had directly hit Hawaii only three times since 1950. The last time was in 1992, when Hurricane Iniki killed six people and destroyed more than 1,400 homes in Kauai.

Hawaii is going forward with primary elections Saturday to choose congressional and gubernatorial candidates ahead of the November nationwide elections.

A graphic shows the projected track for Tropical Storm Iselle from the National Weather Service Aug. 8, 2014.
A graphic shows the projected track for Tropical Storm Iselle from the National Weather Service Aug. 8, 2014.
National Weather Service

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