Published: Thu, August 23, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Hurricane Lane approaches Big Island as Category 5 storm

Hurricane Lane approaches Big Island as Category 5 storm

While weaker hurricanes often pass the Polynesian archipelago, the last storm with strength like Lane's was Hurricane John in 1994.

As of Tuesday morning, the eye of the hurricane was located well to the southeast of the island chain, and was moving west at about 14 km/h.

Residents in low lying areas of Ka'u and Kona subject to wave impacts must take necessary precautions to protect life and property due to risky storm surge and large waves.

In the state's history, only two storms of this strength have ever come within 350 miles (563 km) of the islands, according to the NWS.

"On the forecast track, the center of Lane will move very close to or over the main Hawaiian Islands from Thursday through Saturday". Officials have encouraged residents to stock up on supplies and prepare their homes for the storm, creating scenes more familiar in southeastern US states.

Flash flooding and landslides are expected, with total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches, while certain areas in Hawaii may be deluged with more than 20 inches of rain.

Employees on Hawaii and Maui islands who work in disaster response as well as in hospitals and prisons are required to report to their jobs, the governor said.

The service says the hurricane is still forecast to be a risky hurricane as it gets closer to the islands. Storm surge is also likely to be an issue, but which locations see surge, and how high it is, will depend on the exact track of the storm.

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As Lane moves up from the southeast, the earliest potential threat to land will be for the Big Island, where a Hurricane Warning is now in effect.

On the Big Island, the first in Hurricane Lane's path, damaging tropical storm and hurricane-force winds could pick up as soon as Wednesday afternoon or evening. "Even if the center of Lane were to remain offshore, it is important to remember that impacts from a hurricane can extend well away from the center".

And that, it turns out, explains a lot of Hawaii's usual hurricane luck. Hurricane watches are in effect for Maui, Oahu, and other small islands. State offices on Hawaii Island and Maui will be closed from Wednesday through Friday.

Residents are stocking up on essentials are they prepare for Lane to reach Hawaii.

The long and short of it: It's still too soon to know the impacts, if any, the storm will have on any of the islands.

In the tweet, he mentioned the Category 4 storm was near the islands and added the crew of the International Space Station sends "much aloha to everyone there".

Hurricane Lane, Ige said, is alarming because its track is unpredictable.

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

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