Update 4 p.m.: Tropical storm warning issued for Maui County; Olivia now a tropical storm

Olivia expected Tuesday night

A tropical storm warning was posted at 5:30 a.m. Monday for Maui County and Hawaii island by the National Weather Service as Hurricane Olivia was downgraded to a tropical storm Monday afternoon.

This means that tropical storm conditions are expected in the next 36 hours due to Olivia. Maui County was forecast to begin experiencing the tropical storm effects of Olivia on Tuesday night.

Heavy rain and coastal flooding are among the major impacts expected. Wind speeds for most of Maui is forecast to peak between 35 to 55 mph with higher gusts Tuesday night into Thursday morning.

At 2 p.m. Monday, Olivia was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, packing maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. The weather service expected Olivia to weaken Monday night into Tuesday but still arrive in the Hawaiians Islands as a strong tropical storm.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward from the center of Olivia for 105 miles.

Olivia was 480 miles east of Kahului at 2 p.m. Monday and moving west at 9 mph. It is expected to turn toward the west-southwest later Monday through Tuesday night, the weather service said.

Olivia was expected to bring total rainfall accumulations of 10 to 15 inches with 20 inches possible especially over windward areas. The large amounts of rain may produce flash flooding.

High surf is expected as well, especially along east-facing shorelines.

A high surf warning has been posted until 6 p.m. Wednesday for east-facing shores of Maui. Surf heights are expected to hit 5 to 8 feet Monday, building to 12 to 20 feet Tuesday night.

The weather service warns of strong breaking waves and rip currents.

Public schools were open and all government services were operating Monday but after-school activities and interscholastic sports were cancelled Tuesday until further notice. Hana High and Elementary will be closed Tuesday. Residential trash collection in Hana and on Molokai and Lanai has been affected as well.

People are urged to make preparations for Olivia and to stay tuned to local TV and radio stations. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather broadcasts can be found by calling (866) 944-5025 or going to the website weather.gov/hawaii.

The Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce has postponed its Tuesday gathering due to the approaching storm. The scheduled presentation by George Akau, project biologist, and Jeff Stuber, operations and maintenance manager both of Auwahi Wind, will be rescheduled for early November.

For more information, call 633-6962.

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