FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
After the storm passed, life returned to normal yesterday morning for those at the Farmers Market in Downtown Hilo. Robert Tagalicud reassembled tents that had been dismantled in anticipation of high winds.
Flossie fades as Big Isle routines return
The tropical storm formerly known as Hurricane Flossie meandered harmlessly away from the Hawaiian Islands yesterday after giving the Big Island a big scare.
Flossie, once a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 140 mph and higher gusts, weakened steadily and never delivered the glancing blow of heavy rain and strong winds that forecasters had predicted.
As it edged closer to Hawaii yesterday, Flossie quickly deteriorated, causing no problems.
"Nature gives off signals to their ways. It's up to us to make sure we hear, listen, feel and respond," said Mayor Harry Kim, who had declared an early state of emergency as a precaution.
Workers at the Hilo Farmers Market reinstalled tarps yesterday after Hurricane Flossie dissipated and the danger passed.
Last night, Tropical Storm Flossie was about 280 miles south-southwest of Honolulu with sustained winds of 45 mph and moving west at about 14 mph, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters expect it to weaken to a tropical depression with winds below 39 mph by tomorrow.
Kim and Maj. Gen. Robert G.F. Lee, the state's adjutant general, were comfortable with their decisions to mobilize emergency operations in advance of the once-powerful storm.
Lee said it is always easier to scale down efforts than to mount a major response at the last minute.
"That's what the public expects us to do -- to give our best judgment," he said. "I think it's a lot safer to be prudent like this."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.