Boaters and residents on Hawaii island should start planning for Tropical Storm Flossie’s arrival early next week, Coast Guard officials said Friday afternoon.
Flossie was more than 1,300 miles east of Hilo today and strengthening with sustained winds of 60 mph. It is expected to weaken starting Saturday as it moves over cooler waters, but forecasters say it could still be a tropical storm as it approaches Hawaii island early next week.
The Coast Guard urges mariners to remember:
>> To monitor the progress and strength of the storm through newspapers, the Internet and local broadcast stations. Boaters can monitor VHF channel 16 for storm updates and for small craft advisories and warnings.
>> To heed evacuation orders. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to assist mariners in danger during a storm, officials said.
>> To secure boats and boating equipment. “Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to protected marinas where they will be less likely to break free of their moorings or to be otherwise damaged,” Coast Guard officials said. “Trailerable boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those mariners who leave their boats in the water are reminded to secure life rings, life jackets and tenders.”
>> To be cautious of hazardous materials on or near the water. Take precautions to secure these materials prior to the storm’s arrival.
>> To stay clear of beaches. The storm can cause strong waves and rip currents. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe.
For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the National Hurricane Center’s Web page at www.nhc.noaa.gov/.