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Tropical Storm Olivia makes a mess for Hawaii tourists; airlines waive change fees


© AP A couple stands in the surf as Tropical Storm Olivia approaches Hawaii, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, near Honolulu. The National Weather Service says the storm could dump as much as 20 inches of rain on some parts of the islands.

By Wire and staff reports, USA TODAY

Travelers faced wet, windy and sloppy conditions in Hawaii Wednesday as a gradually weakening tropical storm neared Hawaii. Forecasters predicted Tropical Storm Olivia could dump 5 to 10 inches of rain, with some places getting up to 15 inches.

The downpours started before dawn on Maui and the northern part of the Big Island, said National Weather Service meteorologist Melissa Dye. No rainfall totals were yet available.

Tropical storm warnings were canceled overnight for the Big Island and Kauai, but remain in place for Oahu, Maui and small islands surrounding Maui.

A flash flood warning was issued for Molokai island, and a wind gust of 51 mph was recorded at the airport on the island of Lanai. The storm was later expected to impact Honolulu and other parts of Oahu, where Dye said some showers were falling Wednesday.

Hawaiian Airlines cancelled flights by its commuter airline, Ohana by Hawaiian. It and most other U.S. airlines serving Hawaii waived fees for customers looking to change their itineraries.

The storm was expected to affect Hana starting Tuesday night, and residents were bracing for the community with a population of 1,200 people to take the brunt of the storm, Hasegawa said.

Hana is a popular day-trip destination for travelers staying in Maui's resort towns. But Hasegawa urged people who don't need to be in Hana to stay away because they could become trapped and take up limited shelter space.

Visitors Aaron Huston and his girlfriend Selena Palamides weren't letting Olivia spoil their Maui vacation.

The Seattle couple stocked their hotel room mini-fridge with munchies and bottled water, "just in case we can't go out," Huston said.

They tried to get more sightseeing done Tuesday in case they're stuck at their resort in Wailea on Wednesday.

"It sucks but there's nothing we can do about it," Huston said. "It's better than Seattle rain."

Resort workers were preparing for the storm by taking down beach cabanas, he said.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said his city's offices will be open as usual. City buses also will be running normally unless winds exceed 40 mph.

"We don't want to overreact and tell everyone to stay home when maybe it's not going to be as bad," said Caldwell.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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Travel - U.S. Daily News: Tropical Storm Olivia makes a mess for Hawaii tourists; airlines waive change fees
Tropical Storm Olivia makes a mess for Hawaii tourists; airlines waive change fees
Travel - U.S. Daily News
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