HONOLULU — This is what Associated Press reporters on the scene are learning as the first hurricane in 22 years bears down on Hawaii:
2:34 p.m. HST
The National Weather Service in Honolulu says Iselle is expected hit Big Island as high end tropical storm or low end hurricane. A hurricane has sustained winds of 74 mph or higher. Iselle is 150 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii. It is moving to west-northwest at 17 mph.
2:20 p.m. HST
American Airlines and US Airways have canceled all flights leaving or going to the Big Island and Maui after 6 p.m. HST Thursday. They expect flights to resume at noon HST Friday.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority says United Airlines also canceled flights, but the carrier couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
2:04 p.m. HST
State courthouses and judiciary offices on Oahu and Kauai will be closed Friday. Big Island and Maui County courthouses closed today at noon and will remain closed Friday.
The U.S. District Court and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Hawaii will be closed on Friday. Depending on severity of storms, court calendars for Monday may change with little notice.
1:21 p.m. HST
Hawaiian Airlines says interisland flights are canceled for Thursday evening in Hilo, Kona and Maui. The airline moved its Maui-Los Angeles flight up by nearly five hours. Flight No. 56 originally scheduled to depart Kahului, Maui at 9:40 p.m. will now depart at 5 p.m. and connect in Honolulu before continuing on to Los Angeles at 9 p.m.
1:05 p.m. HST
A sports radio show from the Big Island that is broadcast statewide is spending most of its show on storm coverage, with its host saying sports can take a back seat “because, quite frankly, it’s just not the most important thing.”
12:32 p.m. HST
The U.S. Coast Guard is closing ports for Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and the Big Island. All cargo operations at the ports will be secured by 6 p.m. Thursday.
11:46 a.m. HST
About 40 to 50 people lined up outside Menehune Water Co. just outside Honolulu to buy bottled water. Stan Nuuhiwa, who lives near Waikiki, waited two-and-a-half hours because there’s no water left to buy in town. He loaded about five cases of bottled water and a five-gallon barrel of water into his truck.
11:09 a.m. HST
Officials at various observatories are securing the 13 telescopes on Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea Observatories Support Services administrative manager Gwen Biggert says workers are removing hazards and securing loose items nearby. She says it’s starting to get gusty on the summit.
10:47 a.m. HST
Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection director Bruce Kim is reminding retailers that price gouging is a violation of state law. He says the price of commodities was frozen when the governor declared a state of emergency. He says evidence of price gouging will be investigated and prosecuted.
10:33 a.m. HST
Former National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield says hurricanes in Hawaii are such a rare event it makes it a challenge for the people who live there and aren’t used to it, sort of like the Northeast getting hit by Sandy in 2012. The good news, he said, is that the hurricanes are coming from the east where storms are weaker and the water cooler.
9:55 a.m. HST
Gov. Neil Abercrombie at a press conference Thursday stressed: “We are fully prepared today as it’s possible for us to be, institutionally.”
9:38 a.m. HST
State Attorney General David Louie said the primary elections on Saturday will go forward as planned. Early voting on the Big Island will end at 1 p.m. Thursday.
All state offices will be closed Friday. Public schools on Oahu and Kauai will be closed Friday. Officials have already announced that schools on the Big Island, Maui, Molokai and Lanai would be closed Thursday and Friday.
9:05 a.m. HST
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has tweeted that the city is opening emergency shelters Thursday night and city bus service on Friday is canceled.
8:48 a.m. HST
The American Red Cross is pleading for the return of its only emergency truck on the Big Island. Hawaii chapter CEO Coralie Matayoshi says the white Ford F-150 truck bearing Red Cross markings was stolen in Hilo late Wednesday. The organization will have to borrow or rent a truck as Hurricane Iselle approaches the island.
8:05 a.m. HST
At the White House, President Barack Obama was briefed by his homeland security adviser on preparations for the storms that are threatening his birthplace. Spokesman Josh Earnest said administration officials will remain in close contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies that are that are preparing to help with response and recovery efforts as the storms near.
7:20 a.m. HST
The U.S. Geological Survey reports a magnitude 4.5 earthquake has rattled Hawaii’s Big Island. There were no immediate reports of damage.