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Caldwell urges residents to stay alert despite fizzling Flossie

By Nanea Kalani & Rosemarie Bernardo

LAST UPDATED: 1:52 a.m. HST, Jul 30, 2013

Mayor Kirk Caldwell again urged Oahu residents this afternoon to take cover in anticipation of Tropical Storm Flossie, despite the storm's weakened status. 

Caldwell said he wants to ensure that residents "not lighten up" even as forecasters anticipate Flossie will weaken to a tropical depression.

The mayor encouraged residents by 6 p.m. to be off of roads and in their homes. Earlier in the day, he allowed non-emergency city employees to go home early.

"We want to make sure people are safe," he said. "We prepare for the worst and hope for the best."

As of 3 p.m., one resident had taken advantage of one of the 10 emergency evacuation shelters that just opened to the public, Caldwell said.

The city has launched a free shuttle evacuation service for homeless people from Waianae Boat Harbor to a shelter at Waianae District Park. 

The shuttle service will run until 6 p.m. using a city bus. All other city buses will continue to run on their regular schedule.

In Windward Oahu and on the North Shore this afternoon, there was little activity in anticipation of Flossie. 

At the Kaneohe Bay Shopping Center, Selu Walker had a cart full of items from Longs Drugs. Always prepared for a storm, Walker purchased batteries, toilet paper and other essentials as well as refilled medications. 

Walker, a 50-year Kaneohe resident, said she hopes residents are prepared for the storm despite reports that Flossie is weakening. 

Some residents and businesses carried on with their normal schedule. At about 1 p.m. at the Heeia Kea Small Boat Harbor, a large group of passengers filled two commercial boat tours. 

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