Hurricane Lane strengthens to category 5 as it heads for Hawaii

Cristina Cross
September 10, 2018

"Slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Lane is forecast to remain a risky hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands".

On Oahu, where 70 percent of Hawaii's 1.4 million residents live, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell told the Weather Channel that the city has moved its emergency-response equipment to higher ground for the time being. We have businesses and this and that.

"Isolated rainfall amounts of 20" + are possible. "I got friends calling me telling me there's surf at the beach, and they're actually going surfing right now".

The National Weather Service said a hurricane warning has been issued for Maui County and Hawaii County while a hurricane watch was in effect in Kauai and Oahu.

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

"It is much too early to confidently determine which, if any, of the main Hawaiian Islands will be directly impacted by Lane", the Hurricane Center said.

The center of the storm is expected to track "dangerously" close to or over the islands Thursday through Saturday, the NHC said.

At the Hilton Hawaiian Village, guest Elisabeth Brinson said hotel staff left a notice that rooms will still have water and phone service, and a backup generator would power one elevator per building in the event of an electrical outage. But on the west side, "nothing". All of Hawaii is under a flash flood watch.

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The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency says most public schools can serve as shelters.

Puaoi said Home Depot opened at 6 a.m., and employees reported there was already a line around the building.

"We often get in during scary and serious situations, but we're trained and that's what we do", San Diego Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief John Wood said.

There is, however, a silver lining if the hurricane turns toward Hawaii.

"Based on the current track of the storm, we made the decision to begin to sortie the Pearl Harbor-based ships", said Rear Adm. Brian Fort, commander of the Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.

Navy aircraft will be kept in hangars or flown to other airfields to avoid the storm.

The storm's projected path has become reminiscent of the route taken in 1992 by Hurricane Iniki. Even close calls are somewhat rare, with Hawaii getting a named storm within 60 miles of its coastline about once every four years on average.

"When it did happen, I just remember, pandemonium, it was all out craziness", she said.

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