LAHAINA, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa has officially declared a state of emergency for the entire County of Maui.
"If the storm passes and never comes close to us, people will say it's unwarranted. If the storm hits us and the intensity increases, and if one person were injured or killed, and we weren't prepared…everyone would be asking, 'Why?'" said Arakawa.
In addition, all public schools countywide will be closed on Thursday.
Some schools were also be operating as shelters and those schools will be closed both Thursday and Friday.
Those schools included:
- · Baldwin High (Wailuku)
- · Lokelani Intermediate (Kihei)
- · Kekaulike High (Upcountry)
- · Hana High & Elementary
- · Molokai High
- · Kilohana Elementary (Molokai)
Shelters will open Thursday at 1:00 p.m.
Other schools are still deciding whether to also close on Friday. They will make that decision on Thursday.
This is the first week of classes, but Baldwin High School principal Catherine Kilborn says the cancellations are absolutely necessary.
"I think given, what is the news calling it? A double threat? That there is real concern. And again, it's just being proactive," Kilborn said.
The County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation has also announced these following closures:
- · ALL County swimming pools will close at noon on Thursday until further notice.
- · Waiehu Golf Course will issue final tee times at noon on Thursday and remain closed until further notice.
- · ALL County camping sites will be closed Thursday – Sunday.
- · ALL community centers will be closed starting noon Thursday until further notice.
- · ALL County beach parks will be closed all day Thursday until further notice.
- · CORA-permitted (commercial) activities are canceled Thursday and Friday and until beach parks reopen.
- · All other parks will be closed Thursday at noon until further notice.
Maui Bus Transportation Services will not be operating Thursday and Friday because of safety concerns.
The Department of Water Supply is asking customers to conserve water when Iselle hits. They say high winds and/or flooding could disrupt power supply to water sources and they advise residents store drinking water now.
Long lines at stores are packed with Residents rushing to grab last minute supplies.
"I guess we're trying to get everything done before hand that needs to get done just in case to prepare for the worst," said Kaanapali resident Kelly Bulat.