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Julio down to Category 2 storm as Iselle lingers

By Audrey McAvoy

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Aug. 8 2014 2:15 p.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, Aug. 8 2014 2:15 p.m. MDT

Crowds line up inside the departures terminal at the Honolulu International Airport in Honolulu on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Iselle, Hawaii is expected to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it is Hurricane Julio. Hawaiian Airlines announced Thursday they are waiving change fees for passengers trying to leave before the hurricanes hit the islands.

Marco Garcia, Associated Press

HONOLULU — Hurricane Julio has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph and is predicted to miss the Hawaiian islands by about 200 miles.

National Weather Service officials say the storm, which is about 900 miles east of Hawaii, is expected to continue to weaken as it approaches cooler waters in the Pacific.

That's good news for the island chain dealing with strong winds and heavy rain from Tropical Storm Iselle, which hit the Big Island early Friday.

Coffee farmers on the Big Island are out navigating flooded roads to assess damage to crops, while tourists around Honolulu are back out on the streets and surfers took to the waves.

While Julio's path could still change, experts remained optimistic.

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