Hurricane Lane gets closer to Hawaii

The Latest on Hurricane Lane.

The Big Island was already starting to see Lane's first effects, Gov. David Ige said at a news conference Wednesday.

He added that the storm's weakening was expected to be slow at first but that "Lane will remain a very powerful and very risky hurricane as it approaches the Hawaiian Islands".

Instead, they must stay put and make sure they have enough supplies to outlast prolonged power outages and other potential emergencies.

The declaration authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide assistance for emergency measures required to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety.

The National Weather Services warns: "Hurricane Lane will also bring other life threatening conditions with damaging winds, risky surf, coastal storm surge and intense flooding rains through Saturday".

The storm's outer bands dumped as much as 45 inches (114 centimeters) on the mostly rural Big Island, measurements showed.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency moved several barges packed with food, water, generators and other supplies into the region ahead of Hurricane Hector, which skirted past the islands more than a week ago, FEMA Administrator Brock Long said.

The National Weather Service says there are heavy bouts of rain on the east of the island and lighter rain in other areas.

"We can't go in because the roads - there's a river of water down there", said Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe.

Because of Hurricane Lane's arrival, state workers are being told to stay home for the rest of the week, unless they are essential employees.

Only two hurricanes have made landfall in Hawaii since the 1950s: Hurricane Dot in 1959, and Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

Like the Big Island, Maui experienced flooding and landslides. The agency listed six locations open as shelters.

"Hurricane conditions are expected over some areas of Maui County and Oahu starting Friday and continuing through Friday night. He advised those who are not in flood zones to stay home.

Many live near beaches and streams that could face flooding.

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

The ships were moved out of Pearl Harbor and will be positioned to help respond after the storm, if needed.

Navy aircraft will be kept in hangars or flown to other airfields to avoid the storm. Forecasters believe the storm will turn west - away from the islands - but are uncertain when that will happen. Hurricane Lane is at Category 4, which means winds from 130 to 156 miles per hour (209 to 251 kph).

Tropical Storm Lane, once known as Hurricane Lane, began to break apart as it veered west into the open Pacific, leaving behind sighs of relief and plenty of cleanup, especially on the Big Island where rainfall totals approached 4 feet (1.2 meters).

On Tuesday night, the National Weather Service announced Hurricane Lane had become a Category 5 hurricane. Hurricane conditions, including winds of at least 74 miles per hour, will start there Friday, the Hurricane Center said.

The storm may weaken Friday and Saturday but still is expected to be remain a risky hurricane as it approaches the islands.

"Roads all over are impassable due to extreme flooding", said Hawaii resident Lili Koi on Twitter late on Friday night. Teams were assessing damage, she said, but continued to focus on recovery efforts because it was still raining.

High winds and torrential rains from Hurricane Lane pounded Hawaii on Thursday, touching off flash floods, landslides and heavy surf.

Hawaii emerged Saturday from the threat of a potentially devastating hurricane after flooding forced evacuations on some islands but damage appeared less than feared despite historic amounts of rain.

Authorities rescued 39 people from floodwaters Friday and Saturday, all in the eastern part of the Big Island where the rain concentrated, Hawaii County Civil Defense spokeswoman Kelly Wooten said.

Meteorologist Gavin Shigesato says there's uncertainty to Lane's path - whether it moves north or south.

  • Joe Gonzales