Friday, August 7, 2009

Felicia Is an Energy Option We Can Do Without

It's been many years since a hurricane blew straight through Hawaii from the east,
as Felicia is expected to do early next week.
The latest on Hurricane Felicia has her taking dead aim on the Big Island of Hawaii. That sentence requires no additional qualifiers or adjectives; any storm this size and this close to the islands deserves respect.

Yes, the fact that Felicia has “weakened” may be somewhat comforting, but it’s still a Category 2 storm right now, with winds of 100 miles per hour. Hurricane Iwa in 1982 struck Oahu as a Category 1 storm.

Iwa knocked out 8 of Hawaiian Electric Company’s 14 138-KV transmission lines and blacked out 95 percent of HECO’s customers, some for two weeks or more. So we’re cautioned to stay aware of this approaching storm. It could cause treacherous flooding on all islands and bring winds strong enough to….well, we really don’t know, do we?

Back in January, the threat of strong winds was enough for schools and government offices to close all over the state. “Overblown” was the reaction of many to the near panic that preceded the non-storm's arrival. (That was pretty much the take at our sister blog, Citizens Helping Officials Respond to Emergencies.)

We’ll just have to wait and see how Felicia blows through....and stock up on supplies, just in case.

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