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Flossie: Tropical storm weakens en route to Hawaii

Hawaii prepares for a rare weather event.
Hawaii prepares for a rare weather event.
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Updated: 7/28/2013 8:24 pm
HONOLULU (AP) -- Weather officials say Tropical Storm Flossie is weakening as it slowly moves westward across the Pacific toward Hawaii, but it's is still expected to bring heavy rains and winds up to 60 mph when it reaches the state late Sunday night.

The National Weather Service said midday Sunday that Flossie could bring the possibility of flash flooding, mudslides, tornadoes and waterspouts.

The service issued a tropical storm warning for Oahu, Hawaii's most populous island with the city of Honolulu, to go along with previous warnings for the Big Island, Maui, Molokai and Lanai. The warning means the storm represents a threat to life and property.

The service also issued a tropical storm watch for Kauai and Niihau, a less severe notice, asking people to make a plan and pay attention to see if things get worse.

Officials warned people to cancel beach trips, finish necessary storm preparations and evacuate if asked by local officials.
State officials on Saturday closed trails and campgrounds on the Big Island, and warned people to avoid forest areas until Flossie clears.

"Hikers, campers or hunters should avoid trails, streams and back-country areas under these conditions," said William Aila Jr., chairman of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

It's not immediately clear which island faces the most danger. The Big Island is the easternmost island in the archipelago, and likely the first in Flossie's path. Flossie's center was expected to pass near the Big Island and Maui on Monday morning and then south of Oahu several hours later.

The storm could drop up to 15 inches of rain to windward areas of Maui and Hawaii counties, and 6 to 10 inches in other areas, forecasters said.
Up to a foot of rain could fall on windward Oahu and 4 to 8 inches in central and leeward areas. Kauai may see 2 to 4 inches of rain, with up to 6 inches on windward slopes.

Despite the system weakening, the current forecast keeps Flossie as a tropical storm through Wednesday.

(Associated Press writer Christopher Weber in Los Angeles contributed to this report.)
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