CNN PRODUCER NOTE Jill Thornton is a resident of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Like many in the region, she was out Wednesday making her last minute preparations in anticipation of tropical storm Julio and Hurricane Iselle, when she captured these images. "I have water and toilet paper and canned foods. I had to make sure everything in my office was unplugged and closed. The biggest thing is knowing that the power will most likely go out, and I have work deadlines so I was up until 4am trying to get my work done before Iselle and Julio arrive," she said.
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center advised, "Tropical storm conditions are expected on the Big Island of Hawaii Thursday, with hurricane conditions expected Thursday night." Read the latest on this severe weather event on CNN.
- taliaday, CNN iReport producer
As of this writing, Iselle is listed as a Category 1 hurricane, headed straight for the Big Island, with Tropical Depression Julio close behind. We are doing all we can here to prepare for its arrival. When you live in Kailua-Kona, on the west side of the Big Island, the concern is less about huge winds and more about rain, flooding, and the power going out. Power outages on an island in the middle of the Pacific are no laughing matter! Hilo, on the east side of the Big Island, is most likely to get the full force of the storm--the tall mountains on our island, Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, act as a barrier to the west coast whenever a hurricane comes close, bouncing off of them like a pinball machine.
Still, we have to be ready, and my trip to Target today showed everyone's preparation for Iselle's arrival tomorrow. I've lovingly dubbed it the "Back 2 School" hurricane because the cashier at Target said, "It's so busy in here! Whether people are coming for back-to-school shopping or for the hurricane, they're coming like crazy!"
Above are some photos of empty shelves (bread and water aisles are empty), some very full shopping carts, and of course, SPAM!