Hurricane Lane: Hawaiians brace, with nowhere to run

Rosalie Gross
August 24, 2018

Authorities say two campers are trapped in a Hawaii valley that has been hit by heavy rain from an approaching hurricane.

Tropical storm and hurricane conditions will occur over the course of the day Thursday on the Big Island and in Maui County, while Oahu will see those conditions Thursday night into Friday.

The hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles an hour, had already dumped more than 12 inches of rain on the Big Island.

Dangerous, hurricane-force winds were expected to hit the Big Island overnight and slam Maui Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service said. Officials urged those needing the Molokai shelter to get there soon because of concerns that the main highway on the island's south coast could become impassable. All public schools have been canceled until further notice, and many state employees have been asked to stay home.

Hurricane Lane may be one of the few storms to make landfall in Hawaii decades, the last being Hurricane Iniki in 1992, according to CBS News.

All of the islands are under weather alerts.

Lane is traveling northwest at 7 miles per hour and has maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour.

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One key change is making sure that generators are in place so they can immediately provide power to residents and quickly restart the water system, Long told a briefing in Washington. It appears that the storm will not directly hit the island, but run directly parallel to it.

Residents of the Big Island are already rattled by the three-month eruption of Kilauea volcano, which has forced thousands of residents from their homes and engulfed hundreds of structures in lava. It was expected to begin a turn toward the northwest of the island later on Wednesday, followed by a turn to the north-northwest on Thursday.

Hawaii residents prepared for Hurricane Lane on Wednesday, emptying store shelves, claiming the last sheets of plywood to board up windows and draining gas pumps.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, but at least 14 roads had been closed due to flash floods and landslides, she said. David Ige announced that President Donald Trump had approved his request for a federal disaster declaration, freeing up funds and resources to help the state.

Widespread rainfalls of 10 to 15 inches are possible, with more than 20 inches possible in some spots.

While the exact path of of Lane remains uncertain, CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri says, the storm could weaken as it nears the islands.

US Navy ships and submarines based in Hawaii were instructed to leave port, a common practice as a hurricane approaches to avoid potential damage.

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