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WJBD - National News - Iselle Downgraded to Tropical Storm as It Approaches Hawaii

Iselle Downgraded to Tropical Storm as It Approaches Hawaii

Stocktrek/Thinkstock(HONOLULU) -- Hawaii residents are urged to stay indoors and classes were canceled as the islands braced for two major storms.

Iselle, which has brought rain and wind to the Big Island overnight, was downgraded to a tropical storm as it approached landfall, with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour, below the minimum of 74 mph for a hurricane. The storm is poised to become the first hurricane or tropical storm to hit the island chain in 22 years.

Another storm, Hurricane Julio, is following Iselle from about 1,000 miles behind in the Pacific.

With the storm preparing to make landfall, the rains and wind had already knocked out power to about 25,000 electric customers.

Storm clouds were visible on Hawaii’s beaches Thursday, a clue to the approaching storms.

Ahead of Iselle, many stores and businesses closed, and classes were canceled as schools were converted into shelters.

The state is under a tropical storm warning, with heavy rains, high surf and damaging winds expected and flooding likely, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Forecasters are still uncertain about the exact track and strength of Iselle.

Julio is expected to approach the state over the weekend or early next week.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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