Hawaiians coping with power outages and toppled trees from Tropical Storm Iselle breathed a sigh of relief Sunday as Hurricane Julio passed hundreds of miles north of the islands.
About noon local time, Julio was more than 300 miles north of Hilo on the Big Island, which got the worst of Iselle on Friday. Julio was expected to pass roughly 250 miles northeast of Maui later in the day.
Julio has been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, according to the National Weather Service. It was still expected to produce large swells and high surf along most of the north- and east-facing shores of the main islands through Monday.
Iselle swept through Friday, making landfall over the lower Puna region in the isolated southeastern part of the Big Island, where it unleashed heavy rains and violent winds.
One death has been reported in Kauai, where rescuers recovered a female body from the rocky base of the Hanakoa Stream on Saturday morning. It was believed to be that of a missing 19-year-old hiker, who was reportedly swept away while trying to cross the stream Friday afternoon. Her identity has not been released.
As of midday Sunday, the Big Island still had roughly 9,200 households without power. Officials said the worst-hit areas could be without power for several days.
Mary Roblee, who lives on the Puna Peninsula, still has no power, water or cellphone service in her home.
“There was a lot of devastation around us, trees down, power lines down,” Roblee said. “There is no end in sight in terms of when our power will come back.”
Roblee, who runs a bed and breakfast, said she had to cancel all reservations through next weekend.
Hers was also one of two polling stations closed during the state’s primary elections on Saturday.
The votes from those precincts won't help Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who lost the Democratic primary to state Sen. David Ige by 35 points. But Roblee’s absentee ballot and about 8,000 others may help decide who will take the seat of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. With more than 200 precincts reporting, appointed U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz held a 1,635-vote lead over Rep. Colleen Hanabusa out of 230,000 votes cast. The winner of the Democratic nomination is likely to win in November.
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