Wednesday, Jul 18, 2018
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Tourists return to paradise after Hawaii’s tropical storm

HONOLULU — Tourists in Oahu and other popular parts of Hawaii got back to their beach vacations, and residents lined up to vote in primary elections Saturday, a day after Tropical Storm Iselle swept through the islands without widespread disaster.

But a large, rural swath of the Big Island has spent more than 24 hours without electricity and is struggling with downed trees blocking roads.

Iselle made landfall early Friday over the lower Puna region in the isolated southeastern part of the island, unleashing heavy rain and violent winds that toppled trees.

The mostly agricultural area is as big as the island of Oahu and quickly growing because of affordable property, but it’s nowhere near as populated as the tourist destination home to Waikiki Beach and Pearl Harbor.

It was damp and cloudy on Saturday at Waikiki Beach, but people were jogging, swimming, and lying on the beach even as attention shifted toward Hurricane Julio.

Julio is expected to pass roughly 160 miles northeast of the islands at its closest point early today, and linger near the state into Monday.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira worries there could be injured people rescuers can’t reach.

Puna, which is home to about 40,000 people, had the bulk of the 9,200 customers still without power, according to Hawaii Electric Light Co.

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