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Aug. 2, 2019

HDOT storm preparations for Tropical Storms Erick and Flossie

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is informing the public of preparations it is taking in advance of possible weather impacts as Tropical Storm Erick passes south of the state and Tropical Storm Flossie approaches the state and encourages travelers to take the following actions:

Airport managers have taken their required emergency preparedness measures at all 15 public airports within the state and will adjust their readiness posture should storm conditions develop in their area.

Air travelers with confirmed tickets for travel into or out of Hawaii airports are encouraged to check with their airline for potential flight delays, cancelations, or travel waivers.

In general, State of Hawaii airports will remain open unless there is damage to the runway or terminal facilities; however, the Ellison Onizuka International Airport at Keahole may restrict passenger boarding and deplaning during high winds or heavy rains.

HDOT Harbors Division is in close coordination with the United States Coast Guard regarding port readiness. Harbors has alerted all construction contractors and is ready to activate Harbors Incident Command Centers for the protection and restoration of ports should it be necessary.

With over 98-percent of all imported goods being shipped through Hawaii’s ports, all ports will remain open and operational for as long as safely possible ahead of a storm making landfall to ensure the greatest amount of delivery of goods to the community.

HDOT Highways Division crews have checked drainage systems along state routes to ensure they are clear prior to rain impacts. Crews have also been notified of possible emergency call outs and procedures and have secured state base yards. HDOT equipment and generators have been topped off and checked.

HDOT advises motorists to use caution on roadways with a history of flooding, landslide, rockfall or tree fall hazards. Updates and information on state routes will be posted over HDOT’s social media accounts, and

HDOT will maintain communication with Federal, State, and County officials to ensure coordination in the preparation, landfall, and recovery phases of an event. Residents and visitors should continue to monitor current conditions with the National Weather Service and media outlets.


Tips to Consider When Driving in the Rain

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) urges drivers to educate themselves on how to prepare for rainy weather and exercise safe driving practices. Even before rainfall, motorists should check their cars to make sure they are in proper working condition before getting on the road. When driving through the rain, functional lights, tires, and windshield wipers are essential for optimum safety. Roadways can become very slick during rainy weather, so drive cautiously and make sure to give yourself enough stopping distance to avoid collisions. If flooding or ponding occurs on the road, avoid the area. Rushing water has enough force to carry vehicles.

Preventative Actions

  1. Always use your seat belt and make sure that all passengers are properly restrained.
  2. Make sure all lights on your vehicle are in working order. This includes headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, and interior lights.
  3. Rainy conditions limit visibility, so do what you can to maintain a clear view. Make sure your windshield wipers are in working order, and keep your windshield and windows clean. If windows fog up, use your air conditioner to reduce humidity.
  4. Check your tires regularly to make sure they have adequate tread. This will reduce your chances of hydroplaning and skidding.

Actions to Take While Driving

  1. Turn your headlights on even in a light rain or in gloomy, foggy, or overcast conditions. It will help you see the road and help other drivers see you. If your car has daytime running lights, you should still put your headlights on, so vehicles behind you can see you better.
  2. Do not drive through flood waters. As little as 1 foot of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles.
  3. Slow down to avoid hydroplaning, and allow for increased stopping distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you as tires do not grip as well to wet roadways.
  4. Do not use cruise control.
  5. Drive defensively. Steering around an obstacle is preferred over braking to avoid a collision since sudden braking on wet roadways can lead to skidding especially at speeds over 25 mph.
  6. If your car begins to skid, avoid slamming on the brakes as this will make it harder to regain control. Instead, continue to steer in the direction you want to go until your wheels have regained traction.