Hawaii Back to Normal as Hurricane Flossie Passes Islands Without Incident

    -- Flossie Fades to Tropical Storm --

    HONOLULU, August 15 /CNW/ - It is business as usual throughout the
Hawaiian Islands as Hurricane Flossie passed by Hawaii's Big Island last night
leaving nothing more than gusty winds, rain, and high surf in its tracks. The
more northerly islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Oahu and Kauai were largely

    The National Weather Service cancelled the hurricane watch for Hawaii's
Big Island at 11 p.m. last night and downgraded Flossie to a tropical storm as
the system passed by the island's south shore on its westerly path away from
the state. At 5 a.m. today, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center cancelled all
watches for the Big Island as the storm continues to lose strength rapidly.
According to forecasters, the storm may be downgraded to a tropical depression
later today.

    "Travelers heading to Hawaii need not worry about altering their travel
plans as all airports, airlines, hotels, attractions, and businesses are
operating normally on all islands," said Marsha Wienert, State of Hawaii
tourism liaison. "Flossie has passed by the islands without incident."

    According to Hawaii County Civil Defense officials, there have been no
reports of injuries or damage on the Big Island, which was closest to the

    "I'm pleased to report that it's business as usual today," said George
Applegate, executive director of the Big Island Visitors Bureau (BIVB).
"Things have pretty much returned to normal here on Hawaii's Big Island. The
state parks and other facilities that were closed as a precaution to Flossie's
arrival have reopened."

    Hoteliers on the Big Island were also glad the storm left little impact
in its wake.

    "Flossie, thankfully, never really showed up," said Daryle Kitamori,
general manager of the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. "Bookings remain very strong and
we are close to 100 percent occupancy over the next week."

    On the southwest side of the island, Scott Brooks, general manager of the
Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa, added: "It got exciting for a bit, but in
the end, Flossie arrived with no teeth, and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
It's safe to say that if you are on your way here, you will find no evidence
of Flossie."

    Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim praised the efforts of the visitor industry
in working closely with federal, state, and county agencies to ensure visitor
safety was a top priority as Flossie approached.

    "Because of everyone's commitment to prepare in advance for the
unexpected, we were able to get things back to normal on the island quickly,"
Kim said.

    For information about Hawaii and to begin planning a vacation to the
Islands of Aloha, visit GoHawaii.com.

For further information:

For further information: Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau Darlene
Morikawa, 808-924-0259 Director, Public Relations/Communications
dmorikawa@hvcb.org or McNeil Wilson Communications Nathan Kam, 808-539-3471
Vice President, Travel & Tourism nkam@mcneilwilson.com

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