Hurricane Lane grows to category 5 as it heads toward Hawaii

Clark Diaz
August 23, 2018

Hurricane Lane, weakening to a Category 4 storm as it pushes through the Pacific, is still as much as three days away from Hawaii but is already bringing heavy rain to the Big Island.

UPDATE: #Lane is officially a risky category 5 storm with maximum sustained winds of 160mph.

Slight weakening is expected during the next couple of days, but Lane is forecast to remain a risky hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands.

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.

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"(I'm) filling up my bathtub with some water, hoping to board up my main windows in time", a shopper on the Big Island, Shana Bartolome, told CNN affiliate KHON on Tuesday.

A hurricane watch means hurricane-force winds are possible within the area in the next 48 hours.

A Hurricane Watch remains in effect for Maui County, and is now posted for Oahu, with tropical-storm force winds possibly beginning Thursday or Thursday night. Hurricane Iniki, the most powerful Hawaiian hurricane recorded before Lane, killed six people, injured more than 1,000 and caused $1.8 billion in damage back in 1992, according to TK.

Hurricane Lane poses a "potential threat to life and property", according to the NWS, and "efforts to protect property should now be underway". "Regardless of the exact track of the centre, life threatening impacts are likely in some areas as the hurricane makes its closest approach".

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The US state of Hawaii is bracing for a unsafe category four hurricane which could hit the islands as early as Wednesday evening.

The weather service urges residents and visitors to keep informed about the movements of Lane and to be prepared to evacuate immediately.

But if the storm stays far enough south, many, if not all, of the islands would witness more of a glancing blow, with lesser effects. 'A lot of people are comparing the similarities between Iniki and Lane, ' he said. "Once the storm has passed and it is safe for our crews to begin restoration, we will work as quickly and safely as possible to restore power". State offices on Hawaii Island and Maui will be closed from Wednesday through Friday. "The Department of Education, in coordination with the American Red Cross and Hawaii County Parks and Recreation, have identified shelters in all districts that will be opened if necessary".

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