Hawaii residents on alert as Hurricane Lane gathers strength

Cesar Mills
August 22, 2018

Forecasters say hurricane-force winds will extend 40 miles from the center, while tropical-storm force winds can be felt 140 miles from the eye.

But forecast models are indicating that Lane will turn in a more northerly direction by Wednesday, which will bring the center of Lane very close to Hawaii and Maui counties on Thursday, the Hurricane Center said. In Kona, on the Big Island, it cautioned that at least 4 to 8 inches of rain could fall and that winds could exceed tropical-storm force (39 mph).

A hurricane watch is in effect for the Big Island and Maui as islanders brace for potential effects from Hurricane Lane. "If the storm were to make a significant impact on the island of Oahu, in particular, it could cause flooding at Honolulu International Airport, the oil refinery at Barbers Point, and several large military installations, including Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam", it noted.

Without a direct impact by the center - or near center - of the storm, the islands will still expect tropical storm conditions from the hurricane as it most likely passes south of the island chain.

Islanders are being warned the unsafe Category 4 storm could bring winds with a maximum sustained speed of 150mph and flash flooding as early as Thursday.

Flash flooding and landslides are expected, with total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches, while certain areas in Hawaii may be deluged with more than 20 inches of rain.

"A turn toward the northwest is expected on Wednesday, followed by a turn to the north-northwest on Thursday". Excessive rainfall could trigger widespread, life-threatening flash flooding and landslides; and risky rip currents along south, southeast and southwest facing shores.

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"A lot of people are comparing the similarities between Iniki and Lane", Kauai resident Mike Miranda told the AP.

A hurricane warning in effect for Hawaii's Big Island was extended Wednesday to the island of Maui, The National Weather Service said.

A high surf warning is also in effect until 6 a.m. Friday for south-facing shores of Hawaii Island.

He reminded people to have emergency kits ready and to "withdraw cash". Coastal evacuations are possible, the weather service said.

Officials are also advising residents to prepare their homes for a hurricane. Even if the center of Lane doesn't make landfall, the islands could be walloped with rain and wind. "We're running out of time with this one".

Hawai'i County and Maui County public schools and HIDOE offices are closed tomorrow until further notice.As of 11 a.m. Hurricane Lane continues to strengthen, and is 410 miles away from Hawaii.

But the hurricane centre said the storm will move very close to or over the islands from Thursday through Saturday.

Other reports by GizPress

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