Category 5 Hurricane Lane bears down on Hawaii

Clark Diaz
August 23, 2018

The hurricane center has posted hurricane warnings for the Big Island and Maui, where tropical-storm-force winds may begin between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Though Hurricane Lane is expected to weaken to a category 3 storm by Thursday afternoon, it is still forecasted to remain a unsafe storm as is draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands. Roofs and walls will collapse, and the winds will knock down trees and power pole.

A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area, according to the National Weather Service's (NWS) Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu. Senior Honolulu forecaster Tom Birchard says the watch for Hurricane Lane has been issued for the island of Hawaii and Maui County, which includes the island of Maui and other smaller islands. 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). There is still considerable uncertainty on Lane's expect track beyond 48 hours but those in the Hawaiian Islands should keep a vigilant eye on Lane and follow the Central Pacific Hurricane Center for the latest details on the protection of life and property.

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This NASA file image obtained August 20, 2018 shows Hurricane Lane when NASAs Aqua satellite passed overhead in mid-August 2018.

The hurricane's current trajectory will take Hurricane Lane very close to the Big Island on Wednesday, with the expectation that it will have weakened to a category 3 hurricane. Even if the center of Lane doesn't make landfall, the islands could be walloped with rain and wind.

Gov. David Ige (D) said he will allow nonessential state employees on the Big Island and Maui to go on administrative leave through Friday.

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Hurricane Watches have been issued for Hawaii and Maui counties, in the eastern part of the islands. In addition, all library programs statewide scheduled from today to Sunday were canceled. But early indications showed that the south end of the island up to the western side would be taking the brunt of the storm.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell urged residents to be prepared and check on their neighbors, as well.

He reminded people to have emergency kits ready and to "withdraw cash".

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"The seriousness of the worst-case possibilities with Lane, and the rarity of the situation, call for an especially high level of preparation and vigilance among all Hawaiians", Weather Underground said, adding that the storm was heading towards "a potentially devastating encounter" with the state. "We have the two weeks supply of everything on hand - food, water, medication, clinical labs for blood needs, and we can take care of any of the emergencies that would arise".

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