The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is urging the public to prepare for the onset of heavy weather expected to impact the Hawaiian Islands Thursday.
The effects of Hurricane Iselle and Tropical Storm Julio are expected to generate extreme sea conditions, storm surge and surf of 10-15 feet throughout the Main Hawaiian Islands.
Mariners and beachgoers should monitor the progress and strength of the storms through newspapers, the internet and local television and radio stations. Boaters can monitor the progress of the storms on VHF channel 16. Small craft advisories and warnings are also broadcast on VHF channel 16.
The USCG said it is working closely with local and state first responder agencies. Once the storm begins to impact the islands, emergency responders may not be able to assist those in danger. The public is urged to heed all evacuation orders. Mariners should seek safe harbor and shelter.
Mariners should secure their boats and boating equipment. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to protected marinas where they will be less likely to break free of their moorings or to be otherwise damaged. It may be advisable for smaller boats to be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding and is protected. Regardless of location, all loose items aboard vessels should be secured or removed.
Visitors to Hawaii should heed all warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials. Although weather conditions may be good, rip tides and high surf may impact beaches far in advance of the actual storm. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and currents caused by storms. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe. Water conditions can also become contaminated due to runoff for several days following a storm.