Hawaii kababayans brace for back-to-back hurricanes

By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

August 6, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Two hurricanes may be headed to the Aloha State of Hawaii.

Hawaii has the second largest Filipino population in America – second only to California. The number of kababayans that may be affected there – more than 340,000.

Tropical cyclones in the Pacific rarely hit the islands of Hawaii – being a tiny target in a massive ocean.

But kababayans there are now bracing for what could be a pair of back-to-back hits from Hurricanes Iselle and Tjulio.

Hurricane Iselle brings 90 mph winds today as it heads to the islands, and experts say it could still be hurricane strength at landfall on Thursday.

Next comes Hurricane Julio, which packs 75 mph winds.

Hawaii has not been slammed by a hurricane in 22 years. These two hurricanes are expected to cause power outages and flooding.

Hawaii Governor Abercrombie has urged residents to make an emergency plan and stock up on necessary supplies.

At a Honolulu Costco, supplies are flying off shelves faster than workers can restock them.

The store ran out of bottled water and toilet paper yesterday.

“This one seems to be a little bit busier than normal just because of the severity of the one and the one right after it coming,” said Costco Assistant General Manager Scott Ankrom. “But it always comes as soon as you see that something’s coming. Usually the three or four days beforehand, everybody rushes because they realize just how prepared they really aren’t.”

Honolulu City Councilman Joey Manahan told Balitang America that state and local governments even have plans in place for Hawaii’s homeless population ahead of the oncoming storms.

“We’ve been reaching out to our homeless population who are particularly vulnerable,” Manahan said. “We’ve provided shelters and transportation for them to get to these shelters. So that’s how prepared we are in terms of the government response.”

The chance of Gov. Neil Abercrombie declaring a state of emergency looms over Hawaii’s primary elections set for this Saturday Aug. 9. Manahan, who is one of the Fil-Am candidates running for a U.S. House of Representatives seat for Hawaii’s 1st District, said that could delay the elections for up to 21 days.

“We’ve never had that happen before, but that is certainly a possibility,” Manahan said. “So we’re trying to get people to vote early, which they can right now. But we’re proceeding as planned.”

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