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Hawaii: Flossie downgraded to tropical depression

Flossie would have been the first tropical storm or hurricane to hit Hawaii in 21 years.

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Kailua Beach park in Kailua, Hawaii. (Kent Nishimura/AFP/Getty Images)

Hawaii is battening down the hatches as Flossie, now a tropical depression, batters the islands with heavy rain and high winds.

The storm system, downgraded to a depression Monday night, reached the Big Island by midday Monday, dumping up to 6 inches of rain in many areas and up to 2 inches on other islands.

“The Big Island and Maui are where the worst impacts are going to be,” Kristina Pydynowski, a meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania, told Bloomberg Businessweek.

Officials had closed the ports of Hilo and Kawaihae on Hawaii and Kahului on Maui. Alaska Airlines cancelled its Hawaii-bound flights on Monday through noon Pacific Time.

To free up disaster funds, should they be needed, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has issued an emergency proclamation in advance of the storm.

Hawaii last experienced a big storm in 1992, when Hurricane Iniki brought Category 4-force winds of 140 mph to Kauai, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

More from GlobalPost: Hawaii is dissolving from the inside out, study shows

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130729/hawaii-tropical-storm-flossie-prompts-port-closu