HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hurricane Douglas made a dangerously close pass north of the island chain Sunday into Monday, leaving residents tired but grateful.
In the hours leading up to the anticipated impacts, leaders preached readiness to residents.
“The storm is actually passing very close to the islands,” Gov. David Ige told Hawaii News Now. “These storms are unpredictable and they could change direction.”
Douglas remained a Category 1 hurricane Monday as it jogged away from the island chain.
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center dropped the hurricane warning for Kauai at 2 a.m. Monday
“If we can get through this tonight and the worse that I had to do is put back everything that I had to put away, I’d say that we dodged another bullet,” Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami said Sunday night.
Meanwhile, Oahu residents took a sigh of relief as cloudy skies gave way to a stunning sunset Sunday evening.
“It’s nice that we were all prepared but it’s ultimately good that it didn’t happen,” Lindsey Read of Kaimuki said. “We filled up our waters, we filled up all the extra tanks. We got our screens pulled back in. We fixed up our jalousies. We were ready to go.”
Earlier in the day, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell feared Douglas could come closer to Oahu than any other hurricane in recent years.
A hurricane hasn’t made landfall on Oahu since the government started collecting records on tropical cyclones in the 1950s.
“In the past, we’ve been lucky. This time not as lucky and we need to be prepared,” he said.
Oahu residents appeared to have heeded warnings from emergency management officials to prepare for the storm and take shelter.
But there were a few surfers who braved the waves.
Nancy Orgeles, of Kailua, said her son jumped into the surf on Oahu’s east side before conditions deteriorated. She said the family was prepared for the worst.
“We did board up our windows. We’re ready just in case the power goes out,” she said.
Thirteen emergency shelters opened on Oahu, including the Hawaii Convention Center, as a last resort for residents who cannot shelter in place.
Caldwell said that as of about noon Sunday, roughly 350 people had evacuated to shelters on Oahu. The majority of evacuees ― about 300 ― were at the Hawaii Convention Center shelter.
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This story will be updated.