HONOLULU (AP) - Maui was hit with heavy rain and powerful winds Wednesday as a gradually weakening tropical storm neared Hawaii, with forecasters predicting Tropical Storm Olivia could dump 5 to 10 inches. Some places could get as much as 15 inches.
The downpours started before dawn on Maui and the northern part of the Big Island, said National Weather Service meteorologist Melissa Dye. No rainfall totals were yet available.
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa urged residents to store drinking water and warned that they should plan for power outages, landslides, high surf, fallen trees and flooded roads.
“Nature has a real funny way of not giving us advance notice,” Arakawa said.
Olivia was about 50 miles east of Maui and packing 45 mph winds early Wednesday.
Dye said there were sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph on Maui. The storm, which was a hurricane earlier in the week, has been slowly losing power as it nears the state.
Tropical storm warnings were canceled overnight for the Big Island and Kauai, but remain in place for Oahu, Maui and small islands surrounding Maui.
A flash flood warning was issued for Molokai island, and a wind gust of 51 mph was recorded at the airport on the island of Lanai. The storm was later expected to impact Honolulu and other parts of Oahu, where Dye said some showers were falling Wednesday.