Hurricane Lane threatens direct hit on Hawaii, churns toward Oahu

Tanya Cunningham
August 24, 2018

The category 4 storm could slam into the islands Thursday with winds exceeding 100 miles per hour (161 kph), making it the most powerful storm to hit Hawaii since Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

Huge waves have been crashing onto the coast of Big Island, as Hurricane Lane threatens a direct hit on Hawaii.

It has since weakened to a Category 3 storm, but flash flood and landslide warnings have been issued as the storm inches closer.

Residents like Manila have cleaned out grocery store shelves of ramen, water and canned food and queued up at gas stations, heeding government warnings to fill up fuel tanks and prepare to shelter in place as needed with a 14-day supply of food and water. Ahead of the hurricane's landfall, drenching rains began falling officials opened shelters.

This time, residents who survived Iniki said they're taking Lane seriously, because although it's rare, they know what a hurricane can do to Hawaii. "We're going to the parks and try to hit every part of the homeless community", said Sgt. Joseph O'Neal, Honolulu Police Department Community Outreach Division. Even though Maui and the Big Island are outside of the forecast cone of concern, they will see just as much if not more rain from Lane than the islands in the cone because of this effect, called orographic lift. Responsible for destroying almost 1,500 structures and causing about $3 billion in damage, the monster storm left a lasting impact on numerous state's residents - one that remains today.

All islands are under weather alerts.

Loren, right, and Ruby Aquino, of Honolulu, load water into their auto ahead of Hurricane Lane, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018 in Honolulu.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Tom Travis said there's not enough shelter space statewide.

"Hurricane Lane is not a well-behaved hurricane", he said in a statement.

With Lane still churning in the Pacific Ocean some 322km south-southeast of Kailua-Kona, more than 30cm of rain had already fallen on the eastern side of the Big Island, said Kelly Wooten, a spokeswoman for the Hawaii County Civil Defence agency. "We have about nine cases of water because we're having family stay with us as well, so one case per person".

The U.S. Navy was moving its ships and submarines out of Hawaii.

President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for Hawaii and ordered federal authorities to help supplement state and local responses, the White House said on Thursday. The last major storm to hit was Iniki in 1992.

Through Saturday, 10-15 inches of rain are generally expected, with isolated amounts greater than 20 inches, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said.

Palumbo is prepared for the storm after boarding up one large window and stocking up on snack food.

"Whenever storms try and come up, they fizzle out when they get there", Freedman, Axios's science editor, said Thursday in an interview on Cheddar.

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