Published July 30, 2013
Though Flossie weakened Monday evening local time, it still packed a rare punch for Hawaii which has not taken a direct hit from a named storm since Hurricane Iniki in 1992.
The center of Flossie passed Maui on Monday and was just north of Oahu on Tuesday morning, bringing power outages and flooding to many of the Hawaiian Islands.
NOAA's surf forecast warned on Monday that surf along the east-facing shores of Oahu would be the most rough and elevated, hitting 14 to 20 feet Monday afternoon and evening.
"It's dangerous because ahead of a storm, the surf is growing," AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said. "You could start out with waves 4 to 5 feet high, and in just two hours, they could have grown much higher."
Along with the sudden changes in height, waves can also change direction rapidly. High surf will continue along the shores of all the islands through Tuesday evening. This can catch even seasoned surfers off guard, leading to tragic results.
As rain continued to pound the islands on Monday, flooding and road closures were reported on Hawaii, including Route 132 in Puna, located on the Big Island. Local law enforcement reported numerous downed trees and power lines.
On average, four or five tropical cyclones reach the central pacific each year, some of which will bring tropical moisture and heavy rains to the islands, Acting Director for the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, Tom Evans said.
"I would say it's rare that we get a direct hit," Evans said. Iniki made landfall as a Category 4 storm.
"It was devastating. There are still places that have not recovered from that," he said.
As Flossie wreaked havoc on the Islands, as many as 9,800 people were without power at one time. Most are now back up and running, Evans confirmed.
Pockets of outages were reported on Hawaii, but Molokai was entirely without power for some time. Outages are still being restored in Maui.
"#Flossie weakening, but it's still a Trop Storm and capable of wind damage, flash flooding and rock/mudslides. Don't let your guard down!" the National Weather Service Honolulu tweeted yesterday, before the storm was downgraded.
The National Weather Service Honolulu office has issued a flash flood watch through early Wednesday for all Hawaiian islands with localized downpours leftover behind Flossie.