Updated 11:30 a.m. : Center of Tropical Storm Olivia nips northwest Maui, Lanai
At 5 a.m., system was packing 45 mph winds
The center of Tropical Storm Olivia was 10 miles northwest of Lanai and 15 miles south-southwest of Kaunakakai at 11 a.m. Wednesday after making brief landfall over northwest Maui and Lanai before moving off westward, the National Weather Service.
Olivia had weakened a bit overnight with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and had picked up speed to 15 mph Wednesday morning, according to the 11 a.m. report. Tropical storm force winds extended 90 miles out from its center, with rain, wind and high surf the major areas of concern for county officials.
Large amounts of rainfall have been recorded on windward sides in the 24-hour period ending at 10:45 a.m. with 7.79 inches at West Wailua Iki on the road to Hana and 6.74 inches at Puu Kukui in the West Maui Mountains. More than 2 inches fell in Wailuku, Hana, Pukalani and Mahinahina.
Some leeward gauges recorded small amounts of precipitation in the same period.
As Olivia passed Molokai, it dumped 5 inches of rain at Puu Alii.
National Weather Service officials have warned that Olivia may dump 5 to 10 inches of rain, with some areas receiving 15 inches of accumulated rainfall.
A flash flood warning is in effect for Maui until 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. At 10:35 a.m., radar indicated heavy rain had moved over the West Maui Mountains with rates estimated at 2 to 3 inches per hour. The rain is expected to spread into the leeward slopes from Lahaina to Kapalua. Heavy rain also continues to fall along the southeastern slope of Haleakala from Ulupalakua to Hana, the weather service said.
A flash flood advisory for Maui County is active until Thursday evening.
County officials have warned, especially tourists, about the dangers of traveling those highways Wednesday.
Maui County remained under a tropical storm warning with minimal topical storm force winds near 40 mph with gusts up to 50 mph over parts of the county overnight.
A high surf warning remained in effect for east-facing shores of Maui and Molokai until 6 p.m. Wednesday. Wave heights of 10 to 20 feet are forecast.
Maui Electric Co. was responding Wednesday to outages in Hana, Haiku and Upcountry.
Olivia’s arrival comes about three weeks after Hurricane Lane passed near the islands. Winds from the system whipped up a brush fire in West Maui that claimed homes and flood damage was reported in East Maui.
The Red Cross opened seven evacuation centers Tuesday night in Maui County and reported a total of 62 people utilizing those facilities at 11 p.m. The counts: Hana High and Elementary, Molokai High and Lanai High and Elementary, 1 person each; Maui High, 30; Lahaina Civic Center, 16; Kihei Elementary, 11; Kalama Intermediate, 2. Maui High, Kihei and Kalama are pet friendly; owners must bring their own pet food and water and cages.
Evacuees are asked to bring their own food, water and bedding/blankets. They also are urged to bring flashlights and other battery powered lights in case of a power outage at the shelter.
No alcohol or smoking is allowed at evacuation shelters or in the parking lots.
Maui County is pretty much shut down Wednesday with county and state and post offices closed. Haleakala National Park and state and county parks and facilities also are shutdown for the day.
The Maui Bus is not running today.
The Maui County Emergency Operations Center asks residents and visitors to stay sheltered in place during the storm. Stay informed and stay safe.
To report storm related damages from Olivia, go to www.mauicounty.gov or call 270-7285.