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September 30, 2018

Island Voices: Joint planning key to self-sufficiency

Categories: Energy

Published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on September 28, 2018

Earlier this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center predicted an 80 percent chance of near- or above-normal activity for this hurricane season, with three to six tropical cyclones expected for the Central Pacific hurricane basin. In August and September, those predictions became a reality, as Hawaii residents prepared for, and experienced Hector, Lane and Olivia.

Hurricane Lane, one of only two recorded Category 5 hurricanes to pass within 350 miles of Hawaii, served as a wakeup call for many who rushed to the nearest store hoping to purchase batteries, toiletries and the recommended 14-day supply of food. They filled their homes with bins of drinking water and prepared for extended power and phone outages, unsure of how long the electrical and telecommunications grid would remain intact.

Although downpours caused some flooding and evacuations on Hawaii island, and heavy winds exacerbated a large brush fire in West Maui, our state is generally thought to have dodged a bullet with Lane, which was downgraded and did not make landfall.

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