Posted by: Anna Webb | August 8, 2009

Hurricane Felicia: A Lion or a Lamb?

8am 8/8/09 Predicted Path for Hurricane Felicia

8am 8/8/09 Predicted Path for Hurricane Felicia

You’d never know by looking outside on this glorious blue-skied day, but Hurricane Felicia continues her journey to the East Side of Hawaii’s Big Island progressing in a NW direction and expected to turn directly West today. The question remains: Will she be a lion, or become a lamb when she arrives?

The good news is that she was a Category 4 hurricane two days ago and as of 8 am this morning is a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 90 mph. Weather discussion indicates that she will continue to down grade over cooler ocean waters as hurricanes need warm water to feed their energy.

Regardless, it is not a bad idea at all to prepare for heavy rain and winds between 25-40 mph. For those of you new to the hurricane scene, I can relate. I’m from tornado alley and am used to about 15-30 minutes in the basement when one threatened my area. Hurricanes, tropical storms and depressions are slower moving and the effects likely to last for a longer period.

So what can we do to prepare? Think practically what you and your family will do if the electricity goes out. Water pumps won’t pump water to your home. Electric appliances will be dead sticks. While you don’t have to panic, a little preparation will go a long way. First, think about your home and your land/yard. Are there areas that flood when a hard sudden rain moves through? If so, move all items in those areas to higher ground. Collect outdoor furnishings and stack them close to the house or preferably in a garage or carport. Pay attention to what is affected when strong winds blow from the East. Encourage your kids to gather up their toys and secure them. No sense for an item to blow into your house or a neighbors yard/house when it can be prevented.

Bring in outdoor plants if possible. Not only may they not fare well in heavy rain, but wind may snap them. Place them against a carport wall on Monday away from the wind and rain. If need be, place them in a storage shed. Take care if you decide to bring them into the house to check for ants and other bugs first.

In addition, if you are on catchment, check your tank to see if there is a spigot on the side of it. If so, you can retrieve water in buckets to use for flushing toilets, washing dishes, etc. during an outage. If not, consider washing and sanitizing a large extra trash can, barrel or container for setting out in your yard to catch water for usage until power is restored. Fill up drinking water containers and jugs, throw some gas in your vehicle, and figure out how to cook food if you have an electric stove. Maybe a neighbor has a propane camping stove you can use or share. Buy a bag of ice or two to have on hand for the cooler should your refrigerator be out of commission for more than 6-8 hours to save essentials from spoiling.

I was in town yesterday and can tell you that batteries are selling fast. They were out of the 6 volt lantern batteries and the D batteries were gone already at a few stores. Expect long lines at the water machines and community public water stations as well as at the pump.

When is Felicia expected to arrive? All discussion points to late Monday evening. So utilize your time to get things done planned for Tuesday, a day early.

As of today, the NOAA’s National Weather Service will no longer be reporting on Felicia and that responsibility has been handed off to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center:

Current Satellite pic of Hurricane Felicia heading directly for Hawaii:

Hurricane Felicia turns West toward Big Island East Coast

Hurricane Felicia turns West toward Big Island East Coast

Go to these websites for updates and/or stay tuned to The Daily Flow. I will update twice per day if power and Internet service allow.


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