'The worst of it will be tonight,'' Norman Hui, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Honolulu, said. 'This storm is holding together pretty well.'
Abercrombie, a Democrat, said Saturday's statewide primary elections, including contested races for governor and U.S. Senate, will go ahead. But campaign events were canceled.
'I can assure you, as governor, that all campaign hats are off,' Abercrombie said.
The twin hurricanes disrupted tourism, brought flash flood warnings and prompted school closures. Abercrombie on Wednesday signed an emergency proclamation allowing officials to tap into a state disaster fund.
'Everyone is expecting the worst, but I don't think it will be all that bad, I have enough supplies for the wife and kids so we'll be fine,'' said Steven Gavranic, a tourist from Sydney, Australia, who was fishing in the sun at Waikiki.
The American Red Cross pleaded for the return of its only emergency truck on the Big Island. Hawaii chapter CEO Coralie Matayoshi says the white Ford F-150 truck bearing Red Cross markings was stolen in Hilo Wednesday night. The organization will have to borrow or rent a truck as Hurricane Iselle approaches the island.
The Big Island was expected to take the biggest hit. The state hasn't seen a direct hit by a hurricane since 1992, when Hurricane Iniki killed six people and destroyed more than 1,400 homes.
Honolulu is on Oahu, a smaller but more populated island that should avoid the worst of the storm, forecaster Hui said.
Long lines formed at some local stores, and bottled water and other hunker-down items flew off shelves.
Roger Acpal, a manager at a Costco near downtown Honolulu, said sales are brisk 'but we are able to keep up with demand so far.''
'We got slammed as soon as the announcement about the hurricane came out,' Acpal said. 'Water, canned goods, generators and camping stoves were what people were buying.'
'In the past we've been lucky,' said Cher Takemoto, a teacher at Moanalua High School in Honolulu. 'We've had so many tsunami warnings where nothing happened. Maybe this time it's real. We're praying for the best.'
Hui said it's possible the Big Island's mountainous volcanoes could provide some buffer. Still, the island's population of more than 180,000 people could be in for a wild ride, with violent winds, heavy rain and flooding.
Contributing: Mike Tsukamoto in Honolulu; Associated Press
Hawaii is used to preparing for tropical storms _ stock up on water, toilet paper and other essentials and wait. But actually getting hit with systems like the two approaching the islands? Not as much. (Aug. 6)AP