Hurricane Lane Appears Headed Toward Hawaii

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The Central Pacific Hurricane Centre said the storm was located 724 km south southeast of Kailua Kona on the Big Island with winds of up to 241 km/h and moving in a westerly direction.

He said the priority at this point was to ensure residents were prepared for the storm.

While there is still considerable uncertainty in the forecast for Lane, it appears the storm will be passing close enough to the islands on Thursday and Friday to bring significant impacts to the southern portions of the islands, especially along the coastline.

"We are starting to see some of the rain show up on the Big Island radar", she said.

Hawaii's public schools will be closed for the rest of the week in anticipation of the storm. "A lot of people are comparing the similarities between Iniki and Lane", he said.

In anticipation of the storm, Ige signed an emergency proclamation that declares certain counties of Hawaii disaster areas and allows for the spending of state money for quick and efficient relief for damages, loss and suffering.

"Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion", the NHC said. The entire island lost power and telephone service.

The Hawaiian Islands could see more than 20 inches of rain over the next several days from this hurricane.

After hitting the Big Island, the storm is expected to churn north over the islands of Maui, Lanai and Moloka'i.

"At this time, it looks like maybe Puna will be spared", county Managing Director Wil Okabe said of the beleaguered, rural district.

Already, the effects of the hurricane are forming powerful waves on Hawaii's east coast. "Even if the center of Lane were to remain offshore, it is important to remember that impacts from a hurricane can extend well away from the center".

Very heavy rainfall is expected over parts of the island chain from Wednesday into the weekend, with widespread accumulations in excess of 200 mm expected - and some locally higher amounts.

Warnings and watches are up in the Hawaiian Islands.

A hurricane watch is in effect for the islands of Oahu, Kauai and Niihau.

Tourists should know where shelter space is available.

Many live near beaches and streams that could face flooding.

U.S. Navy ships and submarines based in Hawaii were instructed to leave port, a common practice as a hurricane approaches to avoid potential damages.

Rear Adm. Brian Fort, commander of the Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, said Wednesday that all ships not now undergoing maintenance are being moved.

The weather service says that in a Category 5 hurricane, a high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed.

Correction: August 22, 2018 12:00 am - An earlier version of this story said Hurricane Lane's maximum sustained winds were about 1655 miles per hour.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim declared a state of emergency on the Big Island effective Tuesday morning.

Satellite view of the eye of Hurricane Lane.

Although it is not certain whether the storm, packing peak winds of 150 miles per hour, will directly strike the islands or just graze them, significant effects from rain, wind and waves are becoming increasingly likely. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the storm's center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 120 miles.

"Only two hurricanes on record have struck the islands directly, both of them in Kauai: Category 1 Dot in 1959, and catastrophic Category 4 Iniki in 1992", the site said.

As the storm moves west, it's expected to pass "dangerously close to the main Hawaiian islands", according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.