Hurricane Lane Strengthens, Threatening Hawaiian Islands

Terry Joseph
August 23, 2018

As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, Lane was a Category 5 hurricane circulating 160 mph winds some 360 miles south-southeast of Kailua-Kona and 300 miles south-southeast of South Point, according to Honolulu-based Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecasters.

As Lane moves up from the southeast, the earliest potential threat to land will be for the Big Island, where a Hurricane Warning is now in effect.

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

Even with hurricanes periodically skirting past the Hawaiian islands, the Pacific has been big enough and Hawaii small and lucky enough that few of those storms have actually landed.

A hurricane watch is in effect for several of the islands, including Maui and Lanai, as impacts from the storm are expected to reach the islands starting on Wednesday.

Hurricane Watches are in effect for the eastern half of the island chain, meaning hurricane-force winds are possible near the area within 48 hours.

Hurricane Lane has strengthened to a Category 5 storm, the National Weather Service (NWS) said Tuesday, as it moves towards the main Hawaiian Islands this Thursday through Saturday. But early indications showed that the south end of the island up to the western side would be taking the brunt of the storm.

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Public schools on the Big Island and in Maui County closed Wednesday until further notice.

Regardless of Lane's exact track, the storm is likely to push "large and potentially damaging surf along exposed west, south and east facing shorelines", according to the hurricane center.

Residents "rushed to stores to stock up on bottled water, ramen, toilet paper and other supplies" as the storm neared, The Associated Press reports.

"We have neighbors all around our house and a lot of their items are just outside, not properly secured", she said.

American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines issued travel advisories to customers flying to or from Hawaii.

"If you're in the path of #HurricaneLane, get ready now and make sure your family and neighbors do as well", the Federal Emergency Management Agency tweeted Wednesday. He planned to call in more workers to cope with an expected afternoon rush. "Once the storm has passed and it is safe for our crews to begin restoration, we will work as quickly and safely as possible to restore power". "They're the ones rushing to the store", he said.

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.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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