HONOLULU (AP) — The first storm in a one-two punch heading for Hawaii clamored ashore overnight today as a weakened tropical storm, while a second system close behind it strengthened and was on track to pass north of the islands.
Tropical Storm Iselle's eye crossed onto the Big Island about 5 miles east of Pahala with winds at 60 mph at 2:30 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time. Iselle is the first tropical storm to hit the state in 22 years. Hurricane Julio, a Category 3 storm, is some 900 miles behind in the Pacific, packing maximum sustained winds of about 120 mph, but was forecast to weaken and skirt north of all the Hawaiian islands starting sometime Sunday morning.
No deaths or major injuries were reported from Iselle. So far the extent of damage across the Big Island, one of the least populated in the state, has been limited to downed trees and some roof damage, Hawaii County Civil Defense spokesman John Drummond said.
About 21,000 homes remained without power, he said.
The storm is expected to inundate Hawaii with 5 to 8 inches of rain, and up to a foot in some spots.