Updated: 08/07/2014 11:37 AM
Created: 08/07/2014 11:21 AM WDIO.com
By: JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER. Associated Press
HONOLULU (AP) - Hurricane Julio strengthened into a Category 2 storm as it spun toward Hawaii, with winds gusting at a sustained speed of 100 mph.
The National Hurricane Center said it expected the storm to strengthen even more Thursday before gradually weakening by Thursday night. That weakening is expected to continue into the weekend.
A Hawaii inter-island commuter airline has canceled flights ahead of the hurricanes.
Island Air announced Thursday morning that afternoon flights serving Maui and Lanai have been canceled but flights serving Kauai will continue.
The airline is suspending all operations Friday but says a regular flight schedule is expected to resume Saturday.
The company is waiving reservation change fees and differences in fares for guests changing travel plans.
The Big Island is under a hurricane warning, while much of the rest of the chain was under a tropical storm warning.
The storm could push damaging swells ashore and lead to coastal flooding.
The National Weather Service in Honolulu warned Thursday that gusts up to 55 mph could lash the islands, damaging homes.
Julio is close behind Hurricane Iselle, which was set to make landfall on Hawaii's Big Island Thursday night.
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