Monday, July 29, 2013

Hawaii Island Hams help during tropical storm warning. Post #217

Today at 1700 hours local time, The National Weather Service downgraded Tropical Storm "Flossie" to a tropical depression.  The weakened storm swept over Hawaii Island, leaving heavy showers, gusty winds, high surf, and power interruptions in its wake. Thankfully, no one was injured.  Damage from the storm was minimal.

During the warning period, members of the Big Island Amateur Radio Club stood by to help at Hawaii County Civil Defense, the Hilo Medical Center, and at various American Red Cross stations across the island.

The Hilo International Airport reported winds between 30-35 knots early this afternoon (Monday) with rainfall gauges registering 2 to 4 inches (5.08 to 10.16 cm) of rain.  The situation could have been a lot worse, with early forecasts predicting up to 10 inches (25.4 cm) or more of rain by this evening.

The remaining portions of "Flossie" will move past West Maui, Molokai, Honolulu (on Oahu), and Kauai later this evening.  Rainfall is expected to be in the 2 to 4 inch (5.08 t 10.16 cm) range.

Considering everything, Hawaii Island residents and local amateur radio operators were well prepared for this storm, with civil defense officials providing updates over island radio and television stations.  Things could have been a lot worse.

At my QTH in Laupahoehoe along the Hamakua Coast, the storm left 1.5 inches (3.81 cm) of rain in the rain gauge.  Wind gusts were in the 20 to 25 knot range.

There was no damage to my antennas or to my home.  I managed to raise all of my masts to their operating positions without a problem.  Before the arrival of the storm, I had lowered all masts to ground level, disconnected feed lines,  and unplugged all home appliances and audio equipment from the commercial mains.  Commercial power was not a concern for my amateur radio station, since I use solar panels and deep cycle marine batteries to power my ham equipment.

This weak storm provided an opportune time for Hawaii Island amateur radio operators to test their emergency preparedness procedures and equipment.  My "go kit" was already in my van when the first civil defense message was issued on Friday.

We were lucky this time.  There's no room to hide in the Central Pacific.

You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed.

Thanks for joining us today!

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

BK29jx15--along the very wet Hamakua Coast of Hawaii Island.