Kauai News

HI-EMA Activates State Emergency Operations Center to Monitor Hurricane Darby

Posted July 14, 2022, 2:44 PM HST

Satellite image of Hurricane Darby as of Wednesday morning, July 13. (Screenshot of GIF from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES Image Viewer)

Weakening System Still Could Bring Substantial Rain, Gusty Winds

The state is monitoring Hurricane Darby after the now Category 2 and weakening storm crossed into the Central Pacific overnight.

The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency activated the State Emergency Operations Center at 8 a.m. Thursday, July 14. The activation to Level 3, one step above normal operations, provides additional resources to plan for potential impacts and coordinate with the state’s counties and other partners if they need support to cope with any consequences from the storm.

Darby was about 850 miles east of Hilo at midday Thursday and still showing sustained winds near 100 mph as it moved over cooler waters.

“While the National Weather Service expects Darby to weaken and pass to our south this weekend, the remains of the tropical system could still bring several inches of rain and locally strong winds to the Big Island and Maui by Saturday,” Luke Meyers, HI-EMA administrator, said in a news release. “When you combine those potential impacts with the high surf we expect this weekend, we want to make sure we’re ready for anything, just in case.”

Darby provides a reminder that even if a storm passes well offshore, wind, coastal waves and local flooding of roads and low-lying areas are all possible.

“If Darby does bring extreme conditions, remember to avoid driving into water if there’s local flooding,” the HI-EMA press release said. “Flowing water can carry away a car, and Hawai‘i’s steep valleys mean it can flow fast — turn around, don’t drown.

HI-EMA reminds residents and visitors of these tips before and during heavy weather:

  • Check the places you live, work and play for potential hazards such as blocked drainage or tree limbs that could blow through a window or roof.
  • Top off your fuel tank and charge mobile phones in case power fails or you need to move someplace safer.
  • Make sure you have water and food supplies, necessary medicine, masks and sanitizer, a battery-powered radio and other emergency supplies. HI-EMA recommends residents be “Two Weeks Ready,” but even a few days’ worth makes you more prepared. Don’t forget about supplies for pets.
  • There’s never a bad time to make an emergency plan with your family — and practice it.

By coincidence, the activation of the State Emergency Operations Center is happening at the same time as a previously scheduled emergency preparedness exercise on Saturday, July 16, involving Hawai‘i amateur radio operators.

“If you happen to hear radio traffic about a simulated emergency on Saturday, don’t be confused,” the press release said.

Any information related to a real emergency will be communicated through multiple channels, including the HI-EMA Twitter feed (@Hawaii_EMA) and messages to local media.

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