HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city of Honolulu is canceling The Bus and Handi-Van service Friday and will offer special evacuation bus routes Thursday night ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Iselle.
Garbage and bulky item pickup will continue as usual Thursday but could be canceled Friday, depending on the weather. City officials plan to announce by noon Thursday whether garbage pickup and other city services will close down Friday.
Bus and Handi-Van service will operate as normal Thursday but will shut down Thursday at midnight and won't operate Friday, because of expected dangerous weather conditions, city officials said.
Starting at 10 p.m. Thursday, the city will begin running special bus evacuation routes to the ten shelters the American Red Cross will open Thursday night.
The only Handi-Van service Friday will be for medical emergencies. Several thousand Handi-Van reservations have been canceled.
"But the mayor reserves the right to restore bus service on Friday, given conditions. So if the roads are safe, if the weather is good, the mayor will call for the bus to resume operations on Friday," said Mike Formby, the city's transportation director.
City bus and Handi-Van service is expected to operate as usual Saturday, which is primary election day.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said people should only go to those shelters if they have nowhere else to go.
"We're asking residents to go to the shelter as a last-resort choice," Caldwell said. "It's better to shelter at home, have enough water, batteries, those kinds of things to help you shelter in place for up to seven days. But not to go to the shelter just because you think we should go there to see what it's like."
For the first time, Caldwell said half of the Oahu shelters will allow pets, but the animals must be in a carrier and evacuees must bring food and water for their pets.
All city parks – including Hanauma Bay and all campsites – will close at 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon.
Caldwell returned two days early from a trip to Japan to deal with storm preparations. He held a special cabinet meeting Wednesday afternoon to plan the city's response.
The city's Emergency Operations Center will open at 8 a.m. Thursday and remain open until the weather threat has passed.