Maui hunkers down as Tropical Storm Olivia approaches Hawaii

HONOLULU (AP) — Maui hunkered down for heavy rains and powerful winds as a gradually weakening tropical storm barreled toward Hawaii, while Honolulu hoped it would be spared the worst.

Forecasters said Wednesday that Tropical Storm Olivia could dump 5 to 10 inches of rain, with some places getting as much as 15 inches.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa urged residents to store drinking water and warned that they should plan for power outages, landslides, high surf, fallen trees and flooded roads.

"Nature has a real funny way of not giving us advance notice," Arakawa said.

Olivia was about 95 miles east of Maui and packing winds of 45 mph early today. The storm, which was a hurricane earlier in the week, has been slowly losing power as it nears the state.

Schools, courts and government offices will be closed today in Maui County in preparation for the storm.

Scott Zaffram, a senior response official with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said emergency teams and supplies were ready on Maui.

The National Guard has mobilized personnel and trucks to the east side of Maui, said Herman Andaya, administrator of the county's emergency management agency.

Hawaiian Airlines cancelled flights by its commuter airline, Ohana by Hawaiian.

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