Woo hoo!!! All public schools are closed tomorrow (except the Big Island - as my friend remarked, "The Big Island gets school closed lots of times so that's ok for them.").
No school tomorrow!! Woo hoo!!! And I now have five days off because of the holiday on Monday and the personal day I am taking on Tuesday to watch the inauguration. Obama will be President when I return to work. Now that is something to celebrate about! And there is even more good news. I can continue to be queen of procrastination for a little longer because the project deadline for the class I am taking was moved to February (the date change was not related to the storm).
The reports on the storm so far are pretty much the same - possible 60 mph winds are headed our way. The only difference is that for once, the state is taking preventative action and canceling schools, work, etc. in advance instead of suggesting to stay off of the roads if possible but still have everything open, meaning we have to be on the roads like in the last storm. I am so thankful that I won't have to be on the road tomorrow during this storm. As I was driving home today, I was looking at all the stuff from the roadwork that will be blowing all over the place tomorrow.
This storm must be a big one because the last time that all public schools were closed was for Hurricane Iniki back in 1992. That was 16 years ago! I first heard that all public schools on Oahu were closed tomorrow when I turned on the 5:00 news. It took me a while to believe that school was really closed tomorrow. I heard the reporter say all public schools on Oahu would be closed and read the words written on the TV, but had to reread them three times before I finally believed that schools were closed tomorrow. Then of course I got happy!!
So the big question is, will the power stay on this time. My cell phone and my iPod Touch are being charged right now just in case and my laptop is already charged. There is ice in the freezer, I bought extra food, my flashlights are nearby, I have extra batteries, candles, my radio nearby, HECO's number in case the power goes out to check on the status, and I am about to fill up some water jugs. If only there was a way to get internet when the power is out. But, I am as ready as I am gonna be and am hoping this storm is not that bad. Oh and I found out the other night that since I have a gas stove, I can cook things when there is no power. For some reason, I thought that it was dangerous to use the gas stove in a power outage. Weatherwise, I would classify it as capri weather outside (not shorts weather but not also pants weather).
News from the Honolulu Advertiser:
Strong, southwesterly winds buffeted O'ahu Thursday, as forecasters warned residents to get ready for even stronger winds through Friday afternoon, with gusts upwards of 60 mph expected in parts of Windward O'ahu.
And some of the latest breaking news headlines (from the Advertiser):
* List of Friday school closings keeps growing (7:00 p.m.)
* Waianae Coast homeless urged to leave beaches for safety (6:27 p.m.)
* High wind hits Kaneohe, surf closes Kaena Point (6:42 p.m.)
* No ILH, OIA sporting events on Friday (6:01 p.m.)
* State and city workers given day off Friday (6:53 p.m.)
* Power interruptions possible on Big Island, HELCO says (6:40 p.m.)
* Power outage cancels tonight's classes at Windward CC (6:39 p.m.)
* Oahu under high wind warning until 6 p.m. Friday (6:18 p.m.)
* Hawaiian Electric offers high-wind forecast tips (2:57 p.m.)
These are some of the latest comments on a twitter page about the storm:
*Picking the tangerines off the tree and making sure nothing else will fly away here at home.
*Charging netbooks, phones, etc. because our electric co. loses power if someone looks funny at it.
*HI schools closed tomorrow. Charging phone, plants in from lanai. Will unplug all electronics tonight. 60 mph winds comin!
*Heh. Interesting how forecasts are so specific so as to know the Big Island will be spared. I sure hope they're right!
*Gonna make a pot of rice in case the power goes out.
*Winds not too bad on eastside of Kaua'i, but there are some dark clouds!
*Reports of a roof being blown off today in Kaneohe, Strong gusts reported this evening in Waimanalo.
**Enjoying electricity tonight because apparently we're doomed come tomorrow...?
*lights flickering in Kailua! Noooooooo
**UPDATE** - Friday morning 11:35 am. Just read that the high wind warning for Kauai and Oahu has been canceled. This is good news! Of course now everyone is grumbling about the day off for the state workers and the fact that all schools have been closed. I say, better safe than sorry. My only fear is that next time, schools won't be closed since this storm ended up being a dud (a good dud though). It is still gray and windy out but nothing more severe than a regular stormy day. I can think of a couple of times in the past few years when school should have been canceled, both of which were times when the weather was obviously bad and in progress. Times when we were all told to stay off the roads but had to be on the roads to get to work. Hopefully in the future, safety will still be considered the top priority instead of remembering the outcome of today's predicted storm.