POSTED: 4:37 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 2:47 p.m. HST, Aug 6, 2014
All public schools on Hawaii island and in Maui County will be closed Thursday as Hurricane Iselle and Tropical Storm Julio approach the islands, the Department of Education announced Tuesday.
"The force of these storms remain uncertain, however, we do not want to wait until last minute to close our schools," DOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said in a statement. "Additionally, many of our schools are designated emergency shelters and it is necessary to prepare these facilities as the storms approach."
The closure will affect some 44,000 students on those islands. No announcement has been made about whether public schools will be closed on Oahu on Friday.
The two storms are expected to bring heavy rain, high surf and strong winds beginning Thursday.
The DOE said a dozen Hawaii island public schools, which are designated emergency shelters, will close at 2 p.m. Wednesday, meaning all afterschool activities for students and staff will be canceled for that day.
Only Hawaii island and Maui County public schools that are designated emergency shelters will remain closed Friday.
Public libraries on Hawaii Island and Maui County will also be closed Thursday.
On Hawaii island, the designated emergency shelter schools are:
> Kohala High & Elementary
> Kealakehe High (pet friendly)
> Konawaena High (pet friendly)
> Hilo High (pet friendly)
> Waiakea High (pet friendly)
> Keaau High (pet friendly)
> Pahoa High & Intermediate (pet friendly)
> Honokaa High & Intermediate (pet friendly)
> Kau High (pet friendly)
> Waikoloa Elementary
The Maui County designated shelters are:
> Baldwin High
> Lokelani Intermediate
> Kekaulike High
> Hana High & Elementary
> Molokai High
> Kilohana Elementary
Maui public libraries normally open on Thursdays that will be closed are: Hana, Kahului, Kihei, Lahaina, Lanai, Makawao, Molokai and Wailuku.
Big Island public libraries that will be closed are: Hilo, Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Keaau, Laupahoehoe, Mountain View, Naalehu, North Kohala, Pahala, Pahoa, and Thelma Parker. Kealakekua Public Library is normally closed on Thursdays.