Hurricane Lane is the biggest weather threat to Hawaii in decades

Jo Lloyd
August 24, 2018

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.

AccuWeather reports that Lane has the potential to be the single-costliest hurricane in recorded history of Hawaii and may end up causing the most expensive hurricane damage in all of the country for the 2018 hurricane season.

The storm is moving closer to the Hawaiian islands with sustained winds of 145 miles per hour and forecasters say it's "on course to pass very close" to the islands or make landfall from Thursday through Friday.

"Regardless of the exact track of the storm, life threatening impacts are likely over many areas as this strong hurricane makes its closest approach", the CPHC 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.

Unlike Florida or Texas, where residents can get in their cars and drive hundreds of miles to safety, people in Hawaii are confined to the islands and can't outrun the powerful winds and driving rain.

Around 7 to 12 inches of rain had already fallen on parts of the Big Island by early Thursday, the National Weather Service office in Honolulu said.

Buses around Honolulu have been picking up residents in need and taking them to shelters.

Public schools were closed for the rest of the week, and local government workers were told to stay home unless they are essential employees.

As of 8:34 p.m., Hurricane Lane was a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour, National Weather Service meteorologist Will Pi said.

Lane is prompting warnings for the Big Island, Maui and Oahu as the US Navy is moving its ships and submarines.

Hawaii residents are bracing as Hurricane Lane slowly neared the islands Thursday.

Davelle Finau of Oahu says she's not too concerned about the storm.

Authorities are asking people to seek shelter before it's too late or stay in their homes if they believe those structures can withstand hurricane winds. This sideswipe, however, from the hurricane is expected to bring about 15-20 inches of rain, which could contribute to catastrophic flooding and mudslides.

The storm's unsafe center could make landfall as it moves past the islands from Thursday through Saturday.

The downpours could lead to landslides and flooding.

A National Weather Service spokesman said: "The centre of Lane will move very close to or over the main Hawaiian Islands from Thursday through Saturday".

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