Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hurricanes and Hawaii - What Does That Mean For Travelers?

Hurricane Iselle, Genevieve and Julio Threaten Hawaiian Islands

For the first time in 22 years Hawaii braces for its first direct hurricane contact as Iselle heads towards the Big Island with a second storm on its tail!
Currently, the Hawaiian Islands have been issued an advisory by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center for Hurricane Iselle which is 365 miles east-southeast of Hilo with sustained winds of 90 mph and Hurricane Genevieve, 1,140 miles west-southwest of Kauai with winds at 75 mph.  As if two hurricanes is not enough, Julio is now a named hurricane and is heading towards Hilo as well with 75 mph sustained winds.  But only two of the storms, Iselle and Julio, are tracked to hit the islands.  

  • Tropical Storm - winds 39-73 mph (34-63 kt)
  • Category 1 - winds 74-95 mph (64-82 kt)
  • Category 2 - winds 96-110 mph (83-95 kt)
  • Category 3 - winds 111-129 mph (96-112 kt)
  • Category 4 - winds 130-156 mph (113-136 kt)
  • Category 5 - winds 157 mph and up (137+ kt)

Hurricane Eselle right now is a category 1 and is expected to make impact tonight! For those of you who are not familiar with hurricanes, do not under estimate a cat 1.  I am from eastern North Carolina and no matter what strength the storm is, nature is a force to be reckoned with.  I have seen entire neighborhoods taken out in floods in a category 1, it all depends on which way the wind blows, the tidal phases and how the water is pushed and pulled.  Eselle is expected to produce 5-8 inches of rainfall with isolated maximum amounts to 12 inches.  The amounts could cause life threatening flash floods and rock and mud slides.   

Then Hurricane Julio, now category 2, is expected to make landfall this Sunday.  Maximum sustained winds are near 85 mph with higher gust but could strengthen even more by Wednesday night but then, thankfully, weaken starting on Friday. 

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What does that mean for your travel???

If you were planning on joining the two hurricanes for a vacation in Hawaii this week United, American and Hawaiian airlines, among others, are going to waive reservation change fees and differences in fares for customers who have tickets booked for August 7 and 8.

Also, due to concerns over the possible effects of Iselle and Julio those customers can change their reservations without charge to flights departing through August 12.

If you have a trip booked through United Military Travel give them a call and see what their policy is on changing existing reservations.  Or if you want to head to Hawaii after these storms have passed - give them a call :) 

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Thank you so very much for taking the time to visit my blog! Traveling is very dear to me and sharing my travels and desires with you makes my heart smile. I want to hear all about your adventures because sharing travel stories is the root to all inspiration. Also, any suggestions you may have on how I can improve this blog - I am all ears!!
Allie xoxo