Tropical storm warning dropped as Hector passes south of Big Isle

Hurricane Hector

The center of the Category 3 storm was about 325 miles south of Honolulu and 730 miles east of Johnston Island.

The National Weather Service says the system will continue to weaken in the coming days as it moves westward. The latest advisory from the Pacific Hurricane Center clocked the storm moving west at 16 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour.

A Category Four storm on the Saffir Simpson scale is capable of doing widespread major structural and infrastructure damage; it can easily tear off roofing, shatter windows, uproot palm trees and turn them into projectiles that can kill people.

As a precaution, Hawaii County officials have closed three beaches - Whittington, Punaluu and Milolii beach parks - on Tuesday.


What looks like an incredibly close hurricane to the Big Island, the distance from the eye of the Hurricane to the southern tip of the island is (rough approximation) about 200 miles. Hector's strongest winds are confined to about 40 miles from the eye and are not expected to affect the island.

A high surf advisory has also been issued for east shores of Maui.

Swells kicked up by Hector are expected to reach shores of the Big Island and Maui late Tuesday, "likely becoming large and risky starting early Wednesday morning, and continuing through Wednesday afternoon", the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu said.

Hawaii is said to hold its primary elections this weekend.

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