Hawaiians breathed a collective sigh of relief as Tropical Storm Iselle passed over the Big Island, causing limited damage, and Hurricane Julio set its sights away from the island chain.
Just two days ago, the situation looked bleak. Two hurricanes were on the way — Iselle and Julio. Hurricane Iselle weakened to a tropical storm in the hours before Friday’s landfall. Hurricane Julio, a Category 2 storm with 100 mph winds at the latest update, is expected to weaken and push north of Hawaii over the weekend.
Hawaii hadn’t taken a direct hit from a hurricane since the 1990s. Hawaii’s most damaging hurricane in recent decades — Hurricane Iniki of 1992 — came during an El Nino year, or a year of above-average sea surface temperatures. Iniki killed at least four people and caused about $2 billion in damage when it hit the western Hawaiian island of Kauai.