Darby brings strong winds, drenching rains to Big Island, Maui

Tropical Storm Darby churns its way over Hawaii Island
Pahoa Village (Image: Daryl Lee)
Pahoa Village (Image: Daryl Lee)

HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Heavy rains and strong winds battered Hawaii Island on Saturday afternoon, as Tropical Storm Darby made landfall about 10 miles from Pahala.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center said Darby's center made landfall along the Kau Coast about 2 p.m., packing maximum sustained winds of about 40 mph. It's just the fifth named storm since 1949 to make landfall on a Hawaiian island, the center said, and it followed a track similar to Tropical Storm Iselle in 2014.

The storm spurred power outages and swelled streams; wind gusts topping 50 mph were reported from Volcano to Kohala and higher in some areas. In the Puna district, about 1,000 customers lost power when trees fell onto power lines.

Maui also saw heavy rains, downed trees and "pocket power outages," including in upper Olinda and Haliimaile.

And about 3:20 p.m., firefighters rescued an 11-year-old and his father from the swollen Iao Stream. The boy was playing in the river when he tried to go after a Boogie board and was swept up in fast-flowing water. The two were uninjured.

Maui and the Big Island started to see strong winds and heavy rains about mid-day Saturday. There were reports of toppled trees and flooded roads in some areas. On Hana Highway, downed trees were blocking the roadway in three locations.

On Friday evening, winds and surf were picking up on the Big Island and intermittent heavy showers were reported. Friday through Saturday, 226 people stayed in Big Island evacuation shelters and 43 people stayed in Maui shelters.

In advance of the storm, residents flocked to supermarkets and hardware stores to pick up last-minute supplies and storm essentials, including water and batteries.

Authorities also prepared for the storm, closing state forest and park areas and canceling camping permits. County officials have also opened emergency shelters, and are conducting outreach to homeless populations to ensure they're out of harm's way.

Mobile users: Click here to see a slideshow of Darby-related impacts.

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