published Thursday, August 7th, 2014

First hurricane in 22 years aiming for Hawaii

Honolulu resident Stan Nuuhiwa fills his truck with cases of water from the Menehune Water Company on Aug. 7, 2014, in Aiea, Hawaii.
Honolulu resident Stan Nuuhiwa fills his truck with cases of water from the Menehune Water Company on Aug. 7, 2014, in Aiea, Hawaii.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

HONOLULU — This is what Associated Press reporters on the scene are learning as the first hurricane in 22 years bears down on Hawaii:

11:46 a.m. HST

About 40 to 50 people lined up outside Menehune Water Co. just outside Honolulu to buy bottled water. Stan Nuuhiwa, who lives near Waikiki, waited two-and-a-half hours because there's no water left to buy in town. He loaded about five cases of bottled water and a five-gallon barrel of water into his truck.

11:09 a.m. HST

Officials at various observatories are securing the 13 telescopes on Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea Observatories Support Services administrative manager Gwen Biggert says workers are removing hazards and securing loose items nearby. She says it's starting to get gusty on the summit.

10:47 a.m. HST

Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection director Bruce Kim is reminding retailers that price gouging is a violation of state law. He says the price of commodities was frozen when the governor declared a state of emergency. He says evidence of price gouging will be investigated and prosecuted.

10:33 a.m. HST

Former National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield says hurricanes in Hawaii are such a rare event it makes it a challenge for the people who live there and aren't used to it, sort of like the Northeast getting hit by Sandy in 2012. The good news, he said, is that the hurricanes are coming from the east where storms are weaker and the water cooler.

9:55 a.m. HST

Gov. Neil Abercrombie at a press conference Thursday stressed that the state is prepared. "We are fully prepared today as it's possible for us to be, institutionally," he said.

9:38 a.m. HST

State Attorney General David Louie said the primary elections on Saturday will go forward as planned. Early voting on the Big Island will end at 1 p.m. Thursday.

All state offices will be closed Friday. Public schools on Oahu and Kauai will be closed Friday. Officials have already announced that schools on the Big Island, Maui, Molokai and Lanai would be closed Thursday and Friday.

9:05 a.m. HST

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has tweeted that the city is opening emergency shelters Thursday night and city bus service on Friday is canceled.

8:48 a.m. HST

The American Red Cross is pleading for the return of its only emergency truck on the Big Island. Hawaii chapter CEO Coralie Matayoshi says the white Ford F-150 truck bearing Red Cross markings was stolen in Hilo Wednesday night. The organization will have to borrow or rent a truck as Hurricane Iselle approaches the island.

8:05 a.m. HST

At the White House, President Barack Obama was briefed by his homeland security adviser on preparations for the storms that are threatening his birthplace. Spokesman Josh Earnest said administration officials will remain in close contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies that are that are preparing to help with response and recovery efforts as the storms near.

7:20 a.m. HST

The U.S. Geological Survey reports a magnitude 4.5 earthquake has rattled Hawaii's Big Island. There were no immediate reports of damage.

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