As Hurricane Lane Approaches Hawaii, the Flooding Begins

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Hurricane conditions, including winds of at least 74 miles per hour, will start there Friday, the Hurricane Center said.

It was downgraded again to a tropical storm shortly as its maximum sustained wind speeds fell below 119 kph.

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Read on for a look at its path, and what to know about the hurricane as it barrels closer to Hawaii.

There were no reports of injuries on the Hawaiian Islands, but flash floods and landslides closed some roads.

The arrival of the storm's outer bands made the threat seem more real. "Our families are here".

Still, the storm posed a considerable weather hazard to parts of the state, with the island of Hawaii, popularly known as the Big Island, bearing the brunt of torrential downpours from Lane. A wind gust of 67 miles per hour (107 kph) was recorded at Kohala Ranch on the northern side of the island.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for Hawaii County, while a tropical storm watch is in effect for Kauai County. Government officials have also said they are working to assist Hawaii's homeless population many of whom live in coastal areas which are likely to be affected. The state's Emergency Management Agency head, Tom Travis, said at a news conference this week that the state does "not have enough shelters for everyone".

Shelters were open throughout the islands, with 350 people staying in them in Oahu.

"We can't go in because the roads - there's a river of water down there", said Hawaii county managing director Wil Okabe. A Category 5 is the strongest hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

The shelves of a downtown Honolulu Walmart were stripped of items ranging from canned tuna to dog food, bottled water and coolers full of ice after warnings of possible power outages. Others have been filling up propane tanks and waiting in lines that circle around the block to get gas for their cars.

She was organizing important documents into a folder - birth and marriage certificates, Social Security cards, insurance paperwork - and making sure her three children, all under 4, have flotation devices such as swimming vests "just in case".

Authorities are asking people to seek shelter before it's too late or to stay in their homes if they believe those structures can withstand hurricane winds.

Hurricane Lane was still a Category 3 as of this morning.

The latest predictions from the weather service's Central Pacific Hurricane Center show the eye of the storm glancing past Maui and several other islands on Friday on its way toward Oahu.

Hawaii got a lot of rain today.

Federal officials have been working with Hawaiian utility managers to monitor the power grid, a major vulnerability in Puerto Rico a year ago when it was hit by Hurricane Maria, a powerful Category Four hurricane.

"We're planning on boarding up all our windows and sliding doors", Puaoi told the AP.

Puaoi was 12 at the time of Hurricane Iniki. "I just came from Pahale Park, and there's no park".

She said two Hilo-area neighborhoods were evacuated.

Flooding on the Big Island began with the storm still hundreds of miles away.

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