Terrifying images of Hawaii hurricane from space

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The hurricane is about 804 kilometers southeast of Honolulu.

The hurricane, which was packing maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour (193 kph), was expected to move close to or over portions of the main islands later Thursday or Friday, bringing risky surf of 20 feet (6 meters), forecasters said.

And inside grocery stores across the Hawaiian Islands, people are hoarding water, toilet paper and Spam. "Things could totally go off course, but if it does come straight here, knock on wood, I'll be somewhat prepared".

Bryce and Dom Boeder of Waimea, Kauai, load their truck with storm supplies in the parking lot of a Walmart store in Lihue, on the island of Kauai, Hawaii.

Extreme flooding has happened on Hawaii's Big Island - more than 3 feet of rain had fallen in some areas and a flash flood watch for 28 zones was extended until Saturday evening.

Hurricane Lane on its way to Hawaii.

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.

If it hits the Hawaiian Islands, it would be the first major hurricane to make landfall in 26 years.

Alex Gibbs of the National Weather Service's Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu, told the New York Times: "A hurricane of this magnitude so close to Hawaii is "a very rare event".

As Hurricane Lane continues to churn toward Hawaii packing maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour, scientists gathering data on the storm provided a dramatic glimpse from inside on Tuesday. Authorities are so anxious about the potential devastation, the advice to residents is to stock up on two weeks worth of food and water.

The category four Hurricane Lane is set to track past the islands this weekend, bringing heavy rain, surges and possible flash flooding.

Nobody wants to be under the whirling clouds of a hurricane, but above them?

US President Donald Trump said he authorised an emergency disaster declaration to provide support to Hawaii.

People have to bring their own stuff - we have a cement floor that's harder than a cement floor, says Ray Moody, from the American Red Cross. It killed six people and damaged or destroyed more than 14,000 homes.

"We've set up five of these today and we've got another five scheduled for tomorrow", he said.

"So I got up out of bed and looked out my bedroom window and saw water 3 feet high gushing past my window", she said.

Numerous people who lost their homes to the volcanic eruptions at Kīlauea on the island of Hawaii are still living in tents and officials were scrambling to get them into shelters before the storm arrived.

But the concern surrounding Lane is not about the winds; it's about the heavy rain.

The gushing water knocked down a cement wall and lifted her truck out of the carport, sending it toward her neighbour's house, she said. In hotels, vehicle rental stands and grocery stores, longtime residents brushed off the warnings, saying "the storm always goes by us", "it's just another day", and "it's the season". "We get them in Australia, too". So Kim says there may be many people living in harm's way.

The Hawaii State Department of Health is advising the public to stay out of streams, coastal, and standing waters that are contaminated by storm water.