On Oahu, despite threat of heavy rains, it’s (mostly) business as usual

9/12 4 p.m.: Tropical Storm Olivia passing to the south of Oahu

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city is ramping up emergency operations as Olivia nears, but most services will remain up and running Wednesday.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the emergency operations center will be fully activated Wednesday, when the most severe impacts of Olivia are expected to be felt.

And he said while Oahu is slated to see heavy rains and brisk winds, the island isn't expected to get the worst of the tropical storm.

Because of that, city offices will remain open Wednesday, city buses will run as scheduled and trash will be picked up.

That is, unless the winds are stronger than 40 mph or if torrential rains trigger severe flooding.

The city is also opening eight emergency shelters to accommodate the homeless and those who don't feel safe staying in their homes.

The city's information hotline will go live Tuesday at 6 p.m. at 768-CITY (2489).

Caldwell said service providers have been reaching out to ensure people living on the streets will be safe during the storm.

And in advance of the storm, city crews cleared a number of streams in hopes of preventing flooding.

Meanwhile, the state is also stressing vigilance as the storm nears.

All public schools in Maui County will be closed Wednesday, while all other public schools in the state are slated to remain open.

The education department says it will reassess the possibility of more closures after the National Weather Service's 5 a.m. update Wednesday.

Some Oahu parents are hoping the schools will be more proactive with Olivia to give them better piece of mind.

"All storms require the utmost precaution whether it is a small one or a big one," said parent Andrena Fesili. "When (DOE) closed the schools for Hurricane Lane, I was safe knowing that when I was at work because I needed to be there, my children were home safe where I know where they were the whole time."

This story will be updated.

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