City in ‘wait-and-see’ mode as preparations made for severe flooding, shelters identified

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Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says an emergency proclamation has been drafted for the City and County of Honolulu.

However, Caldwell says, he is waiting for the 5 p.m. storm update from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center before signing it.

“We’re working very hard to clear our streams all around the island,” he said. “With this storm, whether it be a Category 1 or a tropical storm, the projection is a lot of rain. Whether it comes close to Oahu or not, it’s been mentioned the track could cover any one of the islands, what we’re mainly concerned about for us is flooding along our streams and low-lying areas, both from storm surge and from rain.”

Caldwell says city officials have identified seven shelters on City and County properties, as well as one shelter with a private organization.

“We don’t want to overly impact the DOE,” he said. “They were so cooperative last time and provided 20 sites in their schools, and of course it impacted their schools to some degree and when we gave the all-clear, we wanted to get the schools back up for their students to come back in. This time we thought we’d try to relieve some of that pressure.

“But it does lead to the question, should these shelters be necessary to advise people in the City and County of Honolulu to locate the shelters?” he continued. “The question is asked, should the schools be closed and should our workers at the city level go to work? And we’re going to reserve making that decision at least for city workers and shelters until we get that update at 5 o’clock this afternoon and we may even delay it until tomorrow depending.”

The city’s Emergency Operations Center may be activated depending on what the 5 p.m. storm update provides.

“We may go into partial activation this evening and full activation tomorrow, but we’re going to wait and see,” Caldwell said.

In addition to our newscasts, KHON2 will air hourly updates on Tropical Storm Olivia on-air and online through the 11 p.m. update from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

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