Hurrican Lane Poses Massive Threat to Hawaii
Hurricane Lane, a dangerous, Category 4 storm, is pushing closer to Hawaii. The islands have already begun to experience excessive amount of rainfall, exceeding 30 inches in some places, and waves as high as 25 feet tall are beginning to crash down on the south side of the state. The resulting flooding is likely to be devastating, as it has the potential to trigger landslides.
The center of the storm, which would become the first major cyclone to make landfall in the state in over 26 years, is expected to move very close to the main islands, crossing land on Thursday or Friday. Lane‘s center, with maximum sustained winds near 130mpg, was in the Pacific around 210 miles south/southwest of the Big Island town of Kailua-Kona on Thursday, August 23. Landslides have already blocked parts of Route 19, and buses around Honolulu have begun picking up residents in need and taking them to shelters. All public schools canceled classes until further notice, and many state employees have been asked to stay home. Authorities are currently urging residents to set aside at least two weeks’ worth of food and water.
Tropical storm force winds may stretch out up to 140 miles; if Lane doesn’t make landfall, it could still have widespread impact across the islands. It threatens to bring dangerous winds, landslides, rough surf, and major flooding to every island in the state. Residents have been rushing to stores for supplies, stocking up on canned foods, ramen, water, and toilet paper. Many have purchased plywood to board up their windows and generators, while others are filling up propane tanks and waiting in lines that circle around the block.
On Maui, conditions are expected to deteriorate late Thursday; Oahu residents should expect to see the worst of the storm on Thursday night and Friday morning. The storm’s peak winds are forecast to gradually weaken as the storm heads closer to the islands, but it will almost certainly maintain hurricane-strength through Friday.