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Hurricane Hector on track to clip south coast of Hawaii's Big Island

As Hurricane Hector moves west, Hawaii's Big Island is preparing Wednesday for a glancing blow from the storm's northern fringes, forecasters said.

Hector was downgraded to a Category 3 storm and it's expected to continue losing steam over the next couple of days, the National Hurricane Center said.

The eye of the storm was 290 miles southeast of Hilo and 500 miles southeast of Honolulu by Wednesday morning, the NHC said, and it's projected to come within 150 miles of the Big Island.

The island will see a major impact from Hector, as hurricane force winds extend up to 40 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds 115 miles.

Early Wednesday, Hector was traveling west at 16 mph with 125 mph maximum sustained winds. The strongest winds are expected downslope from mountains, across elevated terrain, over headlands and through gaps, the NHC said.

Swells generated by Hector are expected to reach the southeast and east shores of the Big Island and eastern Maui later Wednesday, and produce large and dangerous surfs.

The NHC issued a tropical storm warning Wednesday for Hawaii County, and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency advised residents to prepare an emergency kit that includes at least a 14-day supply of food, water and other necessities.
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