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Thunder and Lightning for Saddle Road, Hilo and Puna this Evening 3-11-17

The National Weather Service reports thunder and lightning for Saddle Road area, Hilo, and Puna through this evening. While severe conditions are diminishing, if lightning threatens your area, the safest place to be is indoors.  Be aware of possible flooding and power outages for affected areas.  Some power outages may already be occurring. Motorists are to treat intersections with inoperable traffic lights as 4-way stops. 

Thank you; have a safe evening. This is your Hawai’i County Civil Defense.


Thunder and Lightning For Puna and Hilo This Evening 3-10-17 at 3:30 PM

The National Weather Service reports thunder and lightning for Puna and Hilo through this evening.


Remember, if lightning threatens your area, the safest place to be is indoors.   


Be aware of possible flooding and power outages through this evening for affected areas. 


Some power outages may already be occurring.


Motorists are to treat intersections with inoperable traffic lights as 4-way stops.


Thank you; have a safe evening, this is your Hawai’i County Civil Defense.



The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces that Kahalu`u Beach Park in Kailua-Kona has reopened as of this afternoon.  All plumbing and maintenance repairs have been completed.

The park was closed on February 24 due to a broken sewer clean-out.  Parks staff worked steadily to do the repairs and ensure that the water quality at the site was acceptable under State Department of Health rules.

“We really appreciate the hard work of our Parks maintenance staff,” said Parks and Recreation Director Charmaine Kamaka. “They really pulled for us to get the park reopened quickly and safely.”

Kamaka thanked the public for their patience and understanding, and also thanked the Department of Environmental Management’s Wastewater Division for their assistance.


Flash Flood Advisory Message for Thursday, March 9 at 5:45 PM

This is a severe weather message for Thursday, March 9 at 5:45 PM.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood advisory through this evening for the island of Hawai’i.

Due to severe weather, HELCO reports several power outages, and, work crews are in the field making repairs.

Due to the power outages, some traffic signals in Hilo are not working. Motorists are advised to drive with caution, be alert and treat affected intersections as four-way stops.

Have a safe evening, this is your Hawai’i County Civil Defense.



    WHEREAS, Act 111 of the 2014 Hawai‘i State Legislature provides for the establishment of County organizations for emergency management and disaster relief, with the Mayor having direct responsibility and authority over emergency management within the County; and


            WHEREAS, Act 111 of the 2014 Hawai‘i State Legislature and Chapter 7, Articles 1 and 2 of the Hawai‘i County Code, establish a Civil Defense Agency within the County of Hawai‘i, and prescribe said agency’s powers, duties, and responsibilities, and Act 111 of the 2014 Hawai‘i State Legislature and Section 13‑23 of the Hawai‘i County Charter empower the Mayor of the County to declare emergencies; and


            WHEREAS, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has determined that one of the bridge abutment footings for the County’s Hakalau Stream Bridge over Old Māmalahoa Highway, Bridge No. 001290001100003, 29-3 has been undermined by scouring; and


            WHEREAS, the FHWA has communicated to the County that the scouring has undermined the abutment to severely compromise its integrity and stability, which may affect the bridge’s ability to safely carry vehicular loads and creates an imminent threat of the bridge suddenly collapsing; and


            WHEREAS, the bridge is open to and traversed by the public for vehicular and pedestrian access; and


WHEREAS, due to the possibility of property damage and/or bodily injury to residents of Hawai‘i Island, and the need for government agencies and/or representatives from the private sector to mobilize and provide immediate services to our island residents, a local state of emergency is authorized pursuant to Act 111 of the 2014 Hawai‘i State Legislature and Chapter 7 of the Hawai‘i County Code.


            NOW, THEREFORE, I, HARRY KIM, Mayor of the County of Hawai‘i, do hereby proclaim and declare that a local state of emergency exists on Hawai‘i Island, effective February 9th, 2017, to authorize the County’s Department of Public Works to take whatever actions are necessary and/or appropriate to address this local state of emergency, to continue for 60 days or until further act by this office.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the County of Hawai‘i to be affixed this 9th day of February, 2017, in Hilo, Hawaiʻi.


                                                            HARRY KIM

                                                            Mayor, County of Hawai‘i


Emergency Alert Siren Message for March 1, 2017 at 11:00 am

This is a Civil Defense message.

This is a Civil Defense Emergency Alert Siren Message for March 1, 2017 at 11:00 AM.

The monthly statewide emergency alert siren test scheduled for 11:45 AM today is postponed due to severe weather occurring throughout the State of Hawaii.

Currently, there are no reports of severe weather on Hawaii Island.  The siren test has been rescheduled for Friday, March 3, 2017 at 11:45 AM.

We apologize for any confusion this may cause.

Thank you very much for your cooperation.

This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency.



CONTACT: 808.961.8787

HAMAKUA, February 9, 2017 – The Hakalau Stream Bridge located on Old Māmalahoa Highway and crosses over Hakalau Stream will be completely closed (no access allowed) beginning on Friday, February 10, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. and remain closed until further notice due to public safety concerns.

This is not the Highway 19 Hakalau Bridge.

The County conducted an assessment of the bridge and found the bridge’s northern abutment (foundation) has been undermined due to scouring from Hakalau Stream.  A plan of action is in process to repair the bridge that will meet the National Bridge Inspection standards and ensure the public’s safety at this stream crossing.

The Hakalau Beach Park will also be closed until further notice due to the closing of the bridge.

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns regarding the bridge closure and work, please call Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787. Or visit the Department of Public Works website at  For information regarding the park closure, please contact Department of Parks and Recreation at 961-8311.





What You Can Do to be Storm Ready

Monitor the status of the Hurricane: For your information and planning, monitor the following link for up-to-date information about Tropical Storm Madeline at

During a tropical storm:

Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
Be extra careful when walking outside.
Storm damage such as downed power lines and fallen debris could injure you.

6 hours before arrival:
Close storm shutters if possible and stay away from windows.
Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary.
If you lose power, food will last longer.

6 to 12 hours before arrival:
Turn on your TV/radio, or check your local government’s website frequently.
You’ll get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
Charge your phone.
You’ll have a full battery if you lose power.

12 to 36 hours before arrival:
Bring in outdoor furniture and other items that could blow away.
These may become a safety hazard.
Bookmark your local government’s website.
This gives you quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.

36 to 48 hours before arrival:
Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit.
Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power.
For example, you can use phone, text, social media, or email.
Create an evacuation plan with your family.
You may have to leave quickly.


Living with Vog on an Active Volcano: New Resources

Release Date: AUGUST 18, 2016

New informational products about the health hazards of volcanic air pollution known as “vog,” are available through a new interagency partnership.

The products include a booklet of frequently asked questions, a brochure and poster about protecting yourself during vog episodes and a web-based “dashboard” that provides comprehensive links to a wide range of vog resources, including vog forecasts and air-quality information.

Communities downwind from Kīlauea Volcano’s active vents frequently experience vog as a visible haze or as a sulfurous smell or taste. People exposed to vog report a variety of symptoms, such as eye irritation, coughing, wheezing, sore throats and headaches. The new products were co-developed by U.S. Geological Survey scientists Tamar Elias and Jeff Sutton at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, John Peard and other officials at the Hawaii Department of Health, and Claire Horwell from Durham University in the United Kingdom, with participation by Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense and other agencies.

Peard, with Hawaii DOH said, “The diverse partnership has allowed us to develop new, consistent products that more fully address the needs of the community.”

“The products offer advice on vog protection measures, such as staying indoors, limiting physical activity, and staying hydrated when vog levels are high. Providing relevant, up-to-date information to a population living with decades of an ongoing volcanic eruption may help people to better cope with the frequent vog conditions,” said Horwell.

The new, mobile-friendly vog dashboard is hosted by the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network, a clearinghouse for information on the health impacts of volcanic eruptions. All of the new Hawaiʻi vog products are available online, and are accessible through the dashboard.

Vog, the pollution formed from acidic gases and particles released by active volcanoes, is composed primarily of sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas and its oxidation products, such as sulfate aerosol.  Sulfur dioxide from Kīlauea Volcano, now in its 34th year of nearly continuous eruption, leads to the vog that challenges communities, agriculture, and infrastructure on the Island of Hawai‘i and across the state. Scientists at USGS HVO regularly monitor the quantity and composition of gases released from Kīlauea. Among other things, HVO data are used as input for vog models that forecast the volcanic plume dispersion and vog locations.

Horwell’s previous study in 2015, investigated how Hawaiian communities perceive vog, how they protect themselves, and their preferences for receiving advice. The results from the study support the need for consistent online advice from all federal, state and local agencies; increased access to web- and non-web-based information on vog exposure and protection; and updated guidance on how to access resources about vog. HVO’s long involvement in vog studies, coupled with the community studies about perception and needs, led to the development of the new vog informational products.

For more information about Kīlauea Volcano’s ongoing eruptions, please visit HVO’s website, or network with others on the ‘Vog Talk’ Facebook group.


White gas plume rising straight up from Kilauea Volcano summit with distant, bright, full moon.
With stagnant winds present, the plume from Halema`uma`u Crater at the summit of Kilauea Volcano, stands straight up, showing off the distant, but bright, full moon. credit: Michael Poland, U.S. Geological Survey, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
scientist with camera and spectrometer at the edge of smoking volcanic crater.
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geochemist measuring gases released from Kïlauea with a Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer, an instrument that detects gas compositions on the basis of absorbed infrared light. credit: Janet Babb, U.S. Geological Survey, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory


Janet Babb

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Phone: 808-967-8844
USGS, Public Affairs
Western States Communications
Phone: 650-329-4006



County Internet Connection Restored 8-9-16

Internet connectivity has been restored to the County of Hawai’i, and all impacted services are once again available. Mahalo for your patience and understanding.