History tells us: Tropical storms in Hawaii can cause major damage

History tells us: Tropical storms in Hawaii can cause major damage
Drivers on Oahu were caught in high flood waters on the freeway. (Image: Hawaii News Now/archive)
Drivers on Oahu were caught in high flood waters on the freeway. (Image: Hawaii News Now/archive)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Tropical storms have a history of causing major damage in Hawaii.

According to current forecasts, Hurricane Olivia is expected to weaken to a tropical storm by the time it nears the state Tuesday into Wednesday. But officials say a tropical storm shouldn't be taken lightly.

Four years ago, Tropical Storm Iselle caused about $80 million in crop damage on the Big Island and caused major problems for residents. Winds upwards of 60 miles an hour toppled trees, causing power outages in Lower Puna. Some residents were also blocked by downed trees for weeks following the storm.

In 2016, the remnants of Darby dumped rain on Oahu for more than 5 hours. That rain was enough to flood the H-1 Freeway turning it into a swimming pool for cars, along with Dillinghamd Boulevard and the Kalihi Stream.

Motorists were trapped causing a major traffic back up. Residents and businesses were also left to clean up the mess from the floods.

It's experiences like these that are leading state and county officials to echo the message: Be prepared and stay vigilant during every hurricane season.

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