Hurricane Lane strengthens to Category 5, heads toward Hawaii

Hurricane Lane, which is headed toward Hawaii, strengthened on Tuesday to a Category 5 storm, the National Weather Service announced.

The hurricane could now produce winds 157 mph or above, heavy rain, flash flooding and high surf. The winds are capable of knocking down trees and power poles, the NWS said.

The hurricane is about 500 miles southeast of Honolulu as of Wednesday morning.

This NASA satellite imagery shows Hurricane Lane in the Central Pacific Ocean southeast of the Hawaiian Islands Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. South Point on the Big Island of Hawaii is outlined at top left. Hawaii residents rushed to grocery stores Tuesday to stock up on bottled water, ramen and toilet paper as they faced the threat of heavy rain, flash flooding and high surf from the powerful and erratic hurricane expected to churn close to the islands or directly over them. The National Weather Service issued a hurricane watch for Hawaii, Maui and other smaller islands, meaning tropical storm-force winds, excessive rain and large swells could arrive starting Wednesday. (NASA via AP)
NASA satellite imagery shows Hurricane Lane in the Central Pacific Ocean southeast of the Hawaiian Islands Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. (NASA via AP)

Hurricane Lane “is forecast to move dangerously close to the main Hawaiian islands as a hurricane later this week, potentially bringing damaging winds and life-threatening flash flooding from heavy rainfall,” the weather service’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center warned.

Earlier Tuesday, the weather service issued a hurricane warning for Hawaii island and a hurricane watch for Oahu, Maui and other smaller islands, meaning tropical storm-force winds, excessive rain and large swells could arrive starting Wednesday.

The weather service also issued a hurricane watch for Maui and other smaller islands, meaning tropical storm-force winds, excessive rain and large swells could arrive starting Wednesday. It’s possible Oahu and Kauai may later be included in an advisory for the hurricane.

But the hurricane center said the storm will move very close to or over the islands from Thursday through Saturday.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed an emergency proclamation on Tuesday in anticipation of the storm, which would provide relief for disaster damages, losses and suffering as a result of the hurricane.

Hawaii residents rushed to stores to stock up on bottled water, ramen, toilet paper and other supplies.

Maui County and Big Island schools will be closed starting Wednesday until further notice, the state Department of Education said. All after-school activities statewide are canceled for the rest of the week.

Longtime Hawaii residents recalled a devastating 1992 hurricane as they prepared for Hurricane Lane.

Kauai resident Mike Miranda was 12 when Hurricane Iniki devastated the island 26 years ago. He said Iniki’s turn into the islands was sudden.

“A lot of people are comparing the similarities between Iniki and Lane,” he said. “I remember how very little rain fell. But I remember the wind being the strongest force of nature I’ve ever witnessed and probably the scariest sounds I’ve ever heard in my life.”

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, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Hurricane Lane

Utility poles were down all over the island, and his 7th-grade classes were held in Army tents for several months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Advertisements

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.