Red Cross evacuation shelters open for those seeking refuge from Hurricane Lane

MEDIA RELEASE

This is a Civil Defense hurricane update for 4 p.m., Thursday, August 23, 2018.

The Hurricane Warning issued by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center continues for Hawaii County. The windward side of Hawaii Island is currently under a flash flood warning and experiencing conditions of heavy rains and flooding.

Due to the flooding conditions in Hilo, the American Red Cross has opened a shelter at Waiakea High School. Five other shelters remain open on the north and west side of the island. These shelters are for your convenience, but there is NO mandatory evacuation at this time. The shelters are available if you need to relocate.

If you choose to relocate to a shelter, food is not provided (don’t forget pet food!). Please bring your blankets and pillows if possible. However, the shelter is open to everyone with or without these items.

The Hawaii State Department of Health is advising the public to stay out of streams, coastal, and standing waters that are contaminated by stormwater. Stormwater may contain harmful micro-organisms from overflowing cesspools or septic tanks as well as animal waste washed into streams and storm drains.

Conditions are being monitored and you will be kept informed of major closures as best as possible. All motorists and residents of affected areas are urged to use extreme caution and be aware of flooding conditions. This is a very dangerous situation and heavy rains are expected to continue on the windward side of the Big Island.

Thank you and have a safe day. This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency.