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Tara Villarreal, originally from Brownsville, Texas, walks near Waikiki Beach on Aug. 8. Villarreal arrived in the islands the day before to begin a job with BMW Hawaii. / Mike Tsukamoto, USA TODAY

Tourists in much of Hawaii got on with their vacations while voters went to the polls in a rare Saturday primary in the wake of downgraded Tropical Storm Iselle.

But residents in some rural areas of the Big Island of Hawaii faced their second day without electricity while officials worked to clear trees blocking roads and restore power and water to some in the lower Puna region Saturday.

However, while there were some flight delays, the devastation could have been far worse. There have been no reports of deaths or serious injuries.

Meanwhile, as of 4:35 a.m. Hawaiian time Saturday, Hurricane Julio was sustaining 100-mph winds about 590 miles east of the Big Island. But forecasters expect Julio to remain at a relatively safe distance north as it travels closer to Hawaii early Sunday.

"We are open for business," Tom Evans, acting director of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, told USA TODAY on Saturday. "All the Islands were affected by the tropical storm but just imagine with all that heavy rain that we had, another heavy rain event on top of it. We're very fortunate that Julio has moved further north along its track."

Evans does caution that "there's always uncertainty when it comes to forecasting. There's always a slight chance that we can have Julio make a little bit more of a southerly move." But he says the forecast models have been consistent so far.

The Big Island took the brunt of a weakening Iselle on Thursday night and early Friday. By late Friday night, the National Weather Service canceled all storm watches and warnings for the state.

"This was no Sandy or Katrina or any other storm that you remember the name of," said Sylvia Dahlby, 58, of Hilo, on the Big Island.

Iselle was the first tropical storm to wallop Hawaii in 22 years and was only the third storm of major consequence to batter the state since 1950. In 1992, Hurricane Iniki killed six people and destroyed more than 1,400 homes in Kauai.

The arrival of the latest storm didn't dissuade all beachcombers. On Oahu, some surfers ignored warnings from lifeguards that they would respond only to emergency calls.

"I'm just going to hit the hurricanes and then leave," said Scott Bush, a California surfer who booked tickets to Honolulu with his 14-year-old son after hearing about the possibility of two hurricanes. He planned to surf until the middle of next week. "The power of the ocean is just incredible," Bush said.

Evans told USA TODAY that one of the lingering effects of the latest storm would be high surfs.

The state Department of Health warned the public to stay out of floodwaters and storm-water runoff across Hawaii because they are known to attract sharks as they wash dead animals into the ocean.

"This storm turned out to be not that bad," said Tara Villarreal, who just moved to Hawaii on Thursday, as she strolled down empty Waikiki Beach on Friday. "My friends in Texas were kidding me that I brought the bad weather with me when I moved here."

Contributing: Mike Tsukomoto in Honolulu



Copyright 2014USA TODAY

Read the original story: Tourists return to Hawaii's beaches, rural residents dig out

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