Hurricane Lane is the Biggest Weather Threat to Hawaii in Decades
Hurricane Lane is the Biggest Weather Threat to Hawaii in Decades
Hurricane Lane is the biggest weather threat to Hawaii in decades
24 August, 2018, 02:12
The category 4 storm could slam into the islands Thursday with winds exceeding 100 miles per hour (161 kph), making it the most powerful storm to hit Hawaii since Hurricane Iniki in 1992.
After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico past year, a FEMA report noted that one of its main issues was not having enough generators and other emergency aid on the island before the storm.
The centre of the Category 4 storm was predicted to move close to or over portions of the main islands later Thursday or Friday, bringing risky surf of 20 feet and a storm surge of up to 4 feet, forecasters said.
Hawaii Governor David Ige issued an emergency proclamation, freeing up state funds to be devoted to tackling the storm. Around 10-30 inches of rain is forecast through the weekend, prompting concern for landslides, which were blocking parts of Route 19 on the Big Island's northern tip, according to the county civil defense agency. The National Weather Servicehas warned residents that even if the storm deviates off of its expected path, "life threatening impacts are likely over many areas as this strong hurricane makes its closest approach".
Buses in Honolulu have been shuttling residents in need to shelters. All public schools canceled classes until further notice and many state employees have been asked to stay home.
Hurricanes rarely make landfall in Hawaii, as the Central Pacific does not see as many storms as the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific, and the Hawaiian Islands present a small target in the vast Pacific Ocean.
The National Weather Service has also released a high surf warning for all the islands, with waves expected to reach up to 20 feet.
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Warnings have been posted for the Big Island and Maui, and the effects of Lane are expected to be felt starting Wednesday night. Only two hurricanes have made landfall in Hawaii since the 1950s: Hurricane Dot in 1959, and Hurricane Iniki in 1992.
Hawaii residents are bracing as Hurricane Lane slowly neared the islands Thursday.
The Category 4 storm could bring risky surf of 20 feet and a storm surge of up to 4 feet, forecasters said.
Authorities also warned that the shelters are not created to withstand winds greater than about 40 miles per hour (64 kph) and that for most people they should be a "last resort".
The downpours could also lead to landslides. The ships will remain at sea until the storm threat passes.
The eye was expected to sweep very close to or over the islands, 2,000 miles southwest of the mainland U.S., sometime later Thursday.
Forecasters predict the storm's risky center could move very close to or over the main Hawaiian Islands later Thursday or Friday. Hurricane Lane has weakened as it approaches Hawaii but was still expected to pack a wallop, forecasters said Wednesday.
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Hurricane watch posted as Lane approaches
Maui County and Big Island schools will be closed starting Wednesday until further notice, the state Department of Education said. "On its forecast track, the center of Lane will move very close to or over the main Hawaiian Islands from Thursday Saturday".
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