Hurricane Lane gets closer to Hawaii

With no place to run, people in Hawaii brace for hurricane | Miami Herald

Hurricane Lane was forecast to continue its northwest turn into the islands Thursday, which would make it the most powerful storm to hit Hawaii since Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

Sirens wailed while workers piled sandbags in front of hotels and police blared warnings to tourists to leave the world-famous Waikiki Beach on Oahu island.

Most of Hawaii's population lives on Oahu island, where Honolulu is located, and which is still awaiting the full force of the storm.

The eastern side of the island picked up almost 3 inches (7.62 centimetres) of rain in three hours, while there was light rain in other areas, Foster said.

Almost two feet of rain fell on parts of Hawaii's Big Island as Hurricane Lane approached the state early Friday, causing heavy flooding and landslides that blocked roads - with the worst still yet to come, according to forecasters.

The Hawaiian Islands are experiencing the effects of Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 storm with heavy rain, flash flooding and damaging winds. The agency says the storm has weakened to a Category 3 but can still cause major damage. "Our usually quiet stream is raging right now". The road to Hilo was cut off due to landslides, he said. Several airlines also canceled services to Kahului Airport on Maui in anticipation of severe weather, the state transportation department said. It scheduled to additional flights from Honolulu to San Francisco on Thursday, and encouraged people who are traveling to or through affected areas to take advantage of policies where change fees and differences in fares are waived.

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At Honolulu's Dole Middle School on the island of Oahu, about 10 folks had sought shelter at a hastily assembled evacuation center by mid-afternoon. Police reportedly later told swimmers to get out of the water.

At a news conference Thursday, agency officials said they would apply lessons in Hawaii learned from the 2017 hurricanes - including Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in September.

Hawaii County firefighters, who were in touch with the home's owner, chose to evacuate the group before the water rose further.

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Tourists on the island were jolted as they toured waterfalls and lounged on beaches beginning Wednesday afternoon when their phones erupted with the distinct alarm tone of an emergency message warning them of the approach of Hurricane Lane. And then the storm just sort of moves along.

The service says a 67 miles per hour (107 kph) wind gust has been recorded at Kohala Ranch.

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Earlier on Thursday the storm was downgraded to category three strength.

Maui County officials warned that those needing to use Molokai's shelter should get there soon because of concerns that high surf could make the main highway on the south coast of the island impassable.

Because there's not enough shelter space statewide, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Tom Travis urged people who were not in flood zones to stay home.

"Whenever possible, the public should plan to shelter in place or stay with family or friends in homes outside of these hazard areas that were designed, built, or renovated to withstand anticipated conditions", the city and county of Honolulu said in a statement. And the first problem is that because it's been so long since a really devastating storm has hit Hawaii, there's that problem of the out of sight, out of mind. And he says that despite changes to the building code after Hurricane Iniki destroyed some 1,500 homes in 1992, many older houses haven't been retrofitted to withstand a hurricane of Lane's strength.

The central Pacific gets fewer hurricanes than other regions, with about only four or five named storms a year.

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