Post-hurricane Hawaii vacation?
August 7, 2014 9:55 PM   Subscribe

I'm headed to Maui, Maalaea Bay to be precise, next week on Wednesday, and am a little freaked out about this Hurricane situation. I'm looking for recommendations on solid news sources beyond just the weather updates for Maui. Will the grocery stores be re-stocked by Wednesday? Having never been in the vicinity of a hurricane before, are there any post-storm things I should be expecting or is it likely to just be a regular beach vacation?
posted by nerdcore to Travel & Transportation around Maui, HI (6 answers total)
Best answer: Right now, we're all waiting to hear those answers and the full extent won't be clear until maybe Sunday. It's unlikely, but if either of the two storms does significant damage, electricity could be out, which also knocks out water in some areas. Most grocery stores would be closed, as well as attractions.

I live about 8 miles from Maalaea and can check back in on Sunday with a description of the situation.
posted by entropyiswinning at 10:41 PM on August 7, 2014 [4 favorites]

One comment on the prediction "cones" you may be looking at. The path of the storm is often more predictable than the speed. Which is to say that while it seems unlikely that Maui is going to get a direct hit by the eye of the storm, it's not necessarily going to have passed through by Sunday. The National Hurricane Center has a bunch of forecasts if you want to drive yourself crazy looking for updates.
posted by wnissen at 11:04 PM on August 7, 2014

Check the Weather Channel for some videos.

I was in Florida for Andrew and I worked on a restoration team for Katrina. A disaster area is no place for a vacation.

Also, as Iselle is hitting the Big Island, you've got Julio out there just behind it. Storms breakup as they hit land, spinning off tornadoes, then as they get out over water, they strengthen again. So it's a whole new ball game as the storm leaves the big island and heads towards Maui.

If the storm is destructive, power will be out. That's horrible for vacationers on SO MANY LEVELS.

Business owners stay home, to clear debris from their property, deal with insurance adjusters, take care of families. That means restaurants won't be open and tourist attractions will be closed.

A hot humid climate is no fun without air conditioning. With the storms in the area, you won't have a nice sunny vacation, but an overcast rainy vacation.

Storm surge will cause flooding and very rough surf so the beaches won't be safe.

Restocking grocery stores and other retail outlets is a dodgy proposition on the mainland after a natural disaster. It's highly dependent on how easy it is for supplies to get into the area. Since everything in Hawaii is brought in over water...I wouldn't count on it.

Knowing what I know, I'd reschedule. As it is there are no flights going to the area. Your airline may make the decision for you. Call them and ask them what their cancellation policies are. Get a Plan B together.

Sorry to be a bummer.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:34 AM on August 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks entropyiswinning, I would really appreciate the update on Sunday, I hope you guys are doing ok too!

Ruthless Bunny: canceling is not really a great option, my airline is not willing to refund or rebook any flights for dates after today. Probably should also note: Hawaii is one of the nicer location I've travelled to in a while, after Honduras and Guatemala volunteer trips, so humidity, rain, lack of restaurants are not issues for me or my bf who is an EMT/Firefighter. Should conditions necessitate I'm willing to cancel, but at this point I'm more trying to figure out if we should be planning to bring a suitcase full of groceries or what.
posted by nerdcore at 9:22 AM on August 8, 2014

It will really depend upon what happens as to whether or not your airline will cancel/reschedule. Right now, they won't, but if the area is declared a disaster area, then they'll have to.

If the storm doesn't cause damage or power outages, you may not need to worry too much. Yes the weather will be less than ideal, but other than that, it won't be a problem.

If the area ends up being declared a disaster area, don't go, no one wants you there. You'll be two more people to worry about. Unless y'all want to WORK. Call your hotel or lodging the night before to determine if it was affected by the storm.

Also, you may be able to get to Oahu, but your connecting flight to Maui may not go.

There are a lot of moving parts on this.

At this point all you can do is watch and wait and be sure to touch base with all aspects of your arrangements.

Here's a site where you can check on state government closures.

Here's a site with information from Maui.

Also, airlines have cancelled flights to Hawaii (and emptied the islands of aircraft to keep them safe,) this will cause all sorts of problems with rescheduling of people stranded in Hawaii and those who are trying to get home from the mainland.

Hang loose and check your airline's websites frequently.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:49 AM on August 8, 2014

So, there ended up being very little damage. A few homes still don't have power. The airport is open again. Grocery stores are open. A lot of other places were closed for a long weekend but I don't see any reason they wouldn't open again tomorrow.

South Maui got some winds but very little rain and we're supposed to see even less of an effect from Julio.

Beach-wise the surf was very quiet off the south shore yesterday and that should continue for the next few days at least.
posted by entropyiswinning at 1:56 PM on August 10, 2014

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