With no place to run, people in Hawaii brace for hurricane

Jo Lloyd
August 24, 2018

"Whenever possible, the public should plan to shelter in place or stay with family or friends in homes outside of these hazard areas that were designed, built, or renovated to withstand anticipated conditions", the city and county of Honolulu said in a statement.

Hurricane Lane has weakened as it approaches Hawaii but was still expected to pack a wallop, forecasters said Wednesday.

"Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion", the centre said.

Hurricane Lane, threatening a direct hit as Hawaii's worst storm in a quarter century, on Thursday churned toward Oahu, the island with the largest population, as schools, government offices and business closed and residents stocked up on supplies and boarded up homes.

Lane is expected to remain a hurricane "as it approaches the islands", according to the agency.

The storm is moving closer to the Hawaiian islands with sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, and forecasters say its risky center will move very close to the islands or make landfall Thursday through Friday. Lane threatens to bring unsafe winds, landslides, rough surf and major flooding.

"I urge our residents and visitors to take this threat seriously and prepare for a significant impact", the governor said at a news conference in the state capital, Honolulu.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the Big Island as well as Maui County and Oahu - meaning hurricane conditions are expected there.

Though the path isn't certain, Hawaii is expecting torrential rain the next few days, potentially causing life-threatening flash floods and landslides.

The power grid was a major vulnerability in Puerto Rico previous year when it was hit by Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm. "Everyone was in a panic", said Thao Nguyen, 35, an employee at a Honolulu branch of Hawaiian shirt retailer Roberta Oaks.

Hurricane Lane is bearing down on Hawaii with 130 miles per hour winds and is expected to track very close to the islands Thursday and Friday.

Locals in Hawaii are stocking up on water and petrol, with long queues reported at petrol stations in the state's capital Honolulu.

"People were buying cases of tiny water bottles".

Trump has issued a disaster declaration for Hawaii as residents prepare to deal with Hurricane Lane.

Governor Ige also stated that US President Donald Trump approved a request for emergency aid, allowing the region to have access to federal resources for restoration.

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