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Hawaii Dodges Hurricane Douglas

Police officers and a bystander use plywood boards to push beach debris off the road in Kaaawa, Hawaii, July 26, 2020, ahead of Hurricane Douglas, which is causing ocean swells in certain areas around Oahu with water washing up on some roads.

Much of Hawaii was spared when Hurricane Douglas passed just north of Oahu, Maui and the island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, early Monday.

The Category 1 storm was on what forecasters had called a “dangerously close” path, but the islands managed to “dodge the bullet” as one police chief put it, when the storm veered slightly away from its forecast path. No severe damage has been reported from Douglas’ heavy rain and fierce winds.

But the threat to Hawaii is not totally over. Hurricane warnings are out for some parts of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument – a World Heritage site described as “cluster of small, low lying islands and atolls” – northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands. Tropical storm warnings and watches have been issued for other parts of Papahānaumokuākea, which is the largest contiguous fully protected conservation area in the U.S., and one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world, encompassing 1,508,870 square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean.

As of Monday afternoon, Hawaiian time, Douglas was still a dangerous storm with top sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour but is forecast to weaken Tuesday into Wednesday.