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Hawaii Prepares for Rainfall ‘in Feet’ as Hurricane Lane Approaches

24 August 2018

The powerful cyclone is threatening to make landfall Thursday, with sustained winds reaching up to 230 kilometres per hour, making this storm potentially the largest to hit the USA state in 26 years, since Hurricane Iniki.

Hawaiians have been urged to buckle down with supplies as the island prepares to be hit by Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 cyclone. Forecasters predict the storm's risky center could move very close to or over the main Hawaiian Islands later Thursday or Friday.

Governor David Ige declared a state of emergency Tuesday on Big Island to help provide relief for damage from the hurricane.

Residents of the Big Island have been in a state of alarm for three months since the eruption of the Kilauea volcano, which has forced thousands of residents from their homes as the lava flow spreads.

Dangerous, hurricane-force winds were expected to hit the Big Island overnight and slam Maui Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service said. All public schools have been canceled until further notice, and many state employees have been asked to stay home.

Hurricane Lane is bearing down on Hawaii with 130 miles per hour winds and is expected to track very close to the islands Thursday and Friday.

All of the Hawaiian islands are under weather alerts.

Maui County officials warned that those needing to use Molokai's shelter should get there soon because of concerns that high surf could make the main highway on the south coast of the island impassable. Oahu and Kauai are under a hurricane watch, meaning hurricane conditions are possible and that winds of at least 39 miles per hour are anticipated in the comings days.

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Hurricane Lane has weakened as it approaches Hawaii but was still expected to pack a wallop, forecasters said Wednesday.

Hawaii is a small target in a vast ocean, and isn't often threatened: Hawaii gets a named storm within 60 miles of its coastline about once every four years on average, forecasters say.

The president issued the declaration on Wednesday.

"Regardless of the exact track, life-threatening impacts are likely over many areas as this strong hurricane makes its closest approach", the weather service said.

The downpours could also lead to landslides.

FEMA administrator Brock Long said the supplies arrived in Hawaii after a volcano began oozing lava into neighbourhoods in May and in preparation for a recent hurricane that bypassed the islands.

The arrival of the storm's outer bands made the threat seem more real.

Hawaii Prepares for Rainfall ‘in Feet’ as Hurricane Lane Approaches