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Tropical Storm Iselle makes landfall in Hawaii

HONOLULU (AP) -- The first storm in a one-two punch heading for Hawaii clamored ashore overnight Friday as a weakened tropical storm, while a second system close behind it strengthened and was on track to pass north of the islands.

Tropical Storm Iselle's eye crossed onto the Big Island about 5 miles east of Pahala with winds at 60 mph at 2:30 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time. Iselle is the first tropical storm to hit the state in 22 years. Hurricane Julio, a Category 3 storm, is some 900 miles behind in the Pacific, packing maximum sustained winds of about 120 mph, but was forecast to weaken and skirt north of all the Hawaiian islands starting sometime Sunday morning.

No deaths or major injuries were reported from Iselle. So far the extent of damage across the Big Island, one of the least populated in the state, has been limited to downed trees and some roof damage, Hawaii County Civil Defense spokesman John Drummond said.

About 21,000 homes remained without power, he said.

The storm is expected to inundate Hawaii with 5 to 8 inches of rain, and up to a foot in some spots.

Drummond said the main part of the storm came ashore in a rural and sparsely populated region and didn't sweep across the entire island.

"We're waiting for the storm to move out of the area," he said. "We're still getting wind from the outer portions."

Heavy rains and wind from the storm's outer bands were also hitting Maui and Oahu on Friday as Iselle moved to the west but south of the other islands.

"We are getting some strong gusts," Maui resident Amanda Schaefer said, adding that pelting rain on her windows kept her up Thursday night.

Friday was off to a soggy start in Honolulu, about 180 miles from the storm, where light rain fell amid gusting winds. A jogger made his way along Ala Moana Boulevard and a man carrying an umbrella walked a small dog.

The Big Island remained under a flash flood warning, with the southern region getting 4 inches of rain per hour.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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