Hurricane Iselle weakened into a tropical storm before it barreled ashore on the big island of Hawaii early Friday and raked the archipelago with strong winds and heavy rains, Hawaii Public Radio's Bill Dorman reports. It's the first such storm to hit the state in 22 years.
Thousands of households on the island of Hawaii lost power Thursday night as Tropical Storm Iselle knocked down power lines and flooded many areas, Dorman says. As the storm moved north, thousands more people lost electricity on the island of Maui.
About 1,000 miles behind Iselle is Hurricane Julio, which is a Category 3 storm but also appears to be weakening, according to the National Hurricane Center. That storm also had been seen as a threat to strike the islands, but it is now expected to veer north.
The Associated Press notes that Iselle "was downgraded to a tropical storm about 50 miles from shore at 11 p.m. HST Thursday, and within hours its winds had slowed to 60 mph, well below the 74 mph threshold for a hurricane."
The news service reports that no deaths or major injuries had been reported, but the island of Oahu, where three-fourths of Hawaii's population lives, has not yet felt the full effect of the storm.
The storm hit "a rural and sparsely populated region," Hawaii County official John Drummond told The Associated Press.
After the government encouraged residents to have a week's worth of supplies on hand, Hawaii Public Radio reports that 20 complaints of price-gouging had been submitted to the state.
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