Hurricane season is upon us

Tropical cyclone season started early June, lasting until the end of November


By Ryan Vanairsdale

Hurricane Lane brought cloudy skies to Oahu.

Alexandria Buchanan, editor

The Hawaiian islands have had two close calls with Hurricane Lane and Tropical Storm Olivia. Both luckily did not hit directly. However, both caused damage with flooding and a wildfire.

As Hurricane Lane, a Category 5 storm, threatened the islands, Hawaii’s Department of Education postponed all Oahu school’s extracurricular activities starting Wednesday, Aug. 22 and closed schools the following day. School and all extracurriculars resumed on Aug. 27.

Some students, such as junior Jessica Nagasako, were happy about the short break from school. Many athletes who were looking forward to games and practices, however, were not happy about the cancellations.

One of the athletes affected was Malachi Iaea, a junior on the varsity football team.

“I wasn’t happy about the hurricane canceling our practices and games. Our game got moved to our bye week instead,” he said.

The hurricane was one of two Category 5 storms ever recorded to pass within 350 miles of the Big Island, and many took it seriously. Stores were sold out of bottles of water, canned food, and many other supplies to prepare. To get ready for worst-case scenarios, McKinley High School was used as one of 20 emergency shelters.

Ray Moody, the Oahu Red Cross disaster team captain, inspected McKinley’s gym to plan out how they would organize the homeless people inside for shelter.

“We have evacuation centers just to collect people if it’s not a threat. If it’s a shelter, that means long-term, as we have on the Big Island [due to flooding],” said Moody. “[The shelter will be open] at least 24 hours. We don’t know what this storm is going to bring and we may stay longer.”

Hurricane Lane downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it came near Oahu, leaving little to no damage to the island. Shortly after, Hurricane Olivia formed southwest of Mexico on Aug. 30 and made its way to the islands in September. Olivia also downgraded to a tropical storm but caused flash flooding in Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.

“Although it was ‘way worse than Lane,’ since it caused power outages for certain schools and caused flash flooding, the conditions were nowhere near as bad as hurricanes currently happening everywhere,” said Nagasako.

With two one month of hurricane season, maps show signs of many other storms forming that have the potential to hit all over the country. There have been no fatalities in Hawaii from hurricanes this season, but be sure to take every threat seriously, stay safe, and make sure you and your families are prepared during this dangerous time.

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