Creeping Lane promises to inundate Maui and Oahu with heavy rain

Creeping Lane promises to inundate Maui and Oahu with heavy rain

Creeping Lane promises to inundate Maui and Oahu with heavy rain

Unlike Florida or Texas, where residents can get in their cars and drive hundreds of miles to safety, people in Hawaii are confined to the islands and must stay put.

Gov. David Ige asked residents to avoid unnecessary travel as heavy rains continue across the state.

The hurricane's path is putting the Big Island of Hawaii and Maui "in the thick" of the storm, National Weather Service meteorologist Melissa Dye said Thursday.

"This is still hurricane strength".

America's Pacific paradise is now under a state of emergency as Hurricane Lane soaks the Big Island.

Areas under hurricane warning are Oahu, Hawaii County, and Maui County, including the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe.

Torrential rain pounded Hawaii on Friday as Hurricane Lane crawled toward the island state, triggering landslides and "catastrophic" flooding, while forcing thousands to seek emergency shelter.

On the Big Island's northern tip, landslides were blocking parts of Route 19, the county civil defense agency said.

Hurricane Lane barreled toward Hawaii on Friday, dumping torrential rains that inundated the Big Island's main city as people elsewhere stocked up on supplies and piled sandbags to shield oceanfront businesses against the increasingly violent surf.

Nearly 25 inches (60 centimeters) of rain fell on the iconic Waikiki Beach in the last 36 hours, forcing its closure as hoteliers and store owners piled sandbags outside their businesses.

There has never been a hurricane landfall in Maui or Oahu in recorded history. A wind gust of 67 miles per hour (107 kph) was recorded at Kohala Ranch on the northern side of the island.

Lane, with maximum sustained winds diminishing to near 110 kph, is forecast to make its nearest approach to land just west of the island chain over the weekend, bringing tropical storm-force conditions to Maui and the state's most populous island, Oahu. Honolulu County turned on its sirens at 4 alert residents on Oahu to begin seeking shelter before nightfall.

In an update late Thursday Hawaii time, the NWS said Lane is "expected to lead to major, life-threatening flash flooding and landslides over all Hawaiian Islands".

"The hurricane [category] strength is only windspeed".

Sea levels were expected to rise as much as two to four feet (60 to 122 centimeters) above normal tide levels, causing coastal erosion and prompting a storm surge and "large and destructive waves", forecasters said.

In the event of outages, Hawaii's power company, Hawaiian Electric Co, will largely be in charge of restoring power, FEMA's Long told reporters, adding that the company is well prepared to fix any problems to the energy grid. "And if you start having any sort of strong winds, that will only exacerbate the situation". The agency listed six locations open as shelters.

Police on loudspeakers told surfers and swimmers to get out of the water, saying the beach would be closed until further notice. Many survivors still have mental scars from those terrifying days 26 years ago, and as another major hurricane inches closer, those memories are not going away.

Jackson Shafer was originally scheduled to fly home to Vancouver on Saturday, but WestJet cancelled the flight along with all outgoing flights from Hawaii on Friday.

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