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Hawaii closes beaches as Hurricane Felicia nears

Several Big Island beaches will close Sunday. The weakening hurricane is expected to be no stronger than a tropical storm when it makes landfall, but in the meantime high waves are forecast.

August 09, 2009|Associated Press

HONOLULU — Several beach parks on Hawaii's Big Island will be closed beginning this afternoon because of Hurricane Felicia, which is expected to increase wave heights as it approaches land, Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency officials said Saturday.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu, however, said Felicia would probably be downgraded to a tropical storm or tropical depression once it moves closer to Hawaii.

Felicia peaked Thursday as a Category 4 storm with winds topping 140 mph.

It entered the central Pacific on Saturday as a Category 1 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph.

The storm was about 800 miles east of Hilo on Saturday morning.

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