• Saturday, September 22, 2018
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Hawaii residents brace themselves as Lane strengthens into a Category 5 hurricane

  • Hurricane Lane is tracking closer to the Hawaiian isles.
    Video: Honolulu Star-Advertiser Staff
  • GPM Video of Rainfall Inside Hurricane Lane
    Video by NASA
  • Hurricane Lane now a strong Category 4 with an increasing chance of affecting Hawaii.
  • CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER

    The forecast track for Hurricane Lane’s tropical-storm-force winds as of 11 p.m. today.

ADVERTISING

UPDATE: 11 p.m.

At 11:00 p.m., the center of Hurricane Lane was located 350 miles south-southeast of Kailua-Kona and 505 miles south-southeast of Honolulu.

Lane was moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph and this motion is expected to continue tonight. A turn toward the northwest is expected on Wednesday, followed by a turn to the north-northwest on Thursday.

On the forecast track, the center of Lane will move very close to or over the main Hawaiian islands from Thursday through Saturday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 160 mph with higher gusts. Lane is a Category 5 hurricane. Slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Lane is forecast to remain a dangerous hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian islands.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from Lane’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

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. “A lot of people are comparing the similarities between Iniki and Lane,” he said.

Iniki’s turn into the islands was sudden, he recalled.

“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,” he said.

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

Miranda said his family is used to preparing for hurricane season.

“A lot of people who moved here and never experienced a hurricane. They’re the ones rushing to the store,” he said.

9 p.m.

The Hawaii State Judiciary announced tonight that its Maui County and Hawaii Island courts and facilities will be closed Wednesday to Friday due to the anticipated severe weather effects of Hurricane Lane.

“As a result of the closures, the Hawaii Supreme Court has issued an order extending any Maui County (Second Circuit) or Hawaii Island (Third Circuit) court matter with a filing or hearing due date of Aug. 22, 23, or 24 until Monday, Aug. 27. All documents due to have been filed shall be deemed to have been timely filed if they are filed by the close of business on Aug. 27, 2018,” the news release said.

In addition, hearings or trials cancelled due to the closure of the courts will be rescheduled to the next available date with due consideration for any statutory mandates.

Employees in the Second and Third Circuits should not report to work Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, unless they are contacted by their supervisor to provide required services.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale for Hawaii is a 1 to 5 categorization based on the hurricane’s intensity.

>> Tropical Storm: winds 39-73 mph

>> Category 1: winds 74-95 mph

>> Category 2: winds 96-110 mph

>> Category 3: winds 111-129 mph

>> Category 4: winds 130-156 mph

>> Category 5: winds 157 mph and up

8 p.m.

Lane remains a Category 5 hurricane, moving west-northwest near 9 mph, which is expected to continue tonight.

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 Central Pacific Hurricane Center warned.

Lane was last located 370 miles south-southeast of Kailua-Kona and about 530 miles south-southeast of Honolulu.

The hurricane center said the storm will move very close to or over the islands from Thursday through Saturday. Even if the center of Lane doesn’t make landfall, the islands could be walloped with rain and wind.

The storm had been moving west but is expected to turn northwest toward the state Wednesday. There’s some uncertainty to Lane’s path — whether it moves north or south, meteorologist Gavin Shigesato said.

“It is much too early to confidently determine which, if any, of the main Hawaiian islands will be directly impacted by Lane,” the weather service said.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 160 mph with higher gusts. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige is allowing non-essential state employees on the Big Island and Maui to go on administrative leave from Wednesday to Friday as Hurricane Lane approaches. Employees on Hawaii and Maui islands who work in disaster response as well as in hospitals and prisons are required to report to their jobs, the governor said.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell also said that all city employees are told to report to work until they are told otherwise.

On the Big Island, the east side has taken the brunt from previous storms and is still reeling after lava from an erupting volcano wiped out entire neighborhoods. But early indications showed that the south end of the island up to the western side would be taking the brunt of the storm.

“At this time, it looks like maybe Puna will be spared,” county Managing Director Wil Okabe said of the beleaguered, rural district. “But you never know.”

Officials were urging residents across the islands to prepare.

“People are getting ready, which is exactly what we want,” Maui County spokesman Rod Antone said. “I know people are taking trips to Costco, buying ramen, rice, the usual. Toilet paper.”

He reminded people to have emergency kits ready and to “withdraw cash. Remember, if the power goes out, ATMs aren’t going to be working.”

7:30 p.m.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell will activate the city’s Emergency Operations Center at 6 a.m. Wednesday, which will require staffing 24/7 until a decision is made to deactivate.

This decision comes under the recommendation by Hiro Toiya, deputy director of the Department of Emergency Management. The department is in the process of assessing sites for hurricane shelters and when to open them. All city employees are being told to report to work until they are told otherwise.

“Hurricane Lane remains an extremely dangerous and powerful storm and even if Oahu avoids a direct hit, the impact from storm surge, strong winds and prolonged rainfall could be significant,” Caldwell said at tonight’s meeting.

Oahu remains under a hurricane watch, which means hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.

The mayor also said a decision on suspending city services like TheBus, Handi-Van and trash and bulky item pickup will be made once the Central Pacific Hurricane Center issues another update Wednesday at 8 a.m.

If Hurricane Lane poses a threat to Oahu, the Department of Transportation Services will use city buses to transfer residents to shelters, including those who are houseless.

6:50 p.m.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center says that “Data from the NOAA P-3 aircraft indicate that Lane has continued to intensify this afternoon. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 160 mph, making Lane an extremely dangerous category 5 hurricane. A special advisory will be issued within the hour.”

6:20 p.m.

Waves up to 25 feet are expected for some south shores as Hurricane Lane nears Hawaii.

Tha National Weather Service issued a high surf warning for southern shores of the Big Island until 6 a.m. Friday, bringing 15-to-25 feet surf along the south and the southeast coast.

Forecasters warned of extreme impacts, including “ocean water surging and sweeping over beaches, coastal benches, lava flows, and roadways, creating the potential for significant damage to coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways. Coastal evacuations and road closures are possible. Large breaking waves may affect harbor entrances and channels with significant damage possible to docks, piers, ramps, and boats”

“Anyone entering the water could face significant injury or death,” they caution.

5 p.m.

Hawaii island is now under a hurricane warning while Maui County and Oahu are now under a hurricane watch.

At 5 p.m., Hurricane Lane was 375 miles southeast of Kailua-Kona and 535 miles southeast of Honolulu with Category 4-strength winds of 155 mph. It was moving west-northwest at 9 mph.

A warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the area and is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. “Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion,” forecasters with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds.

“Slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Lane is forecast to remain a dangerous hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands,” they said.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 140 miles.

2 p.m.

Lane, a powerful Category 4 hurricane, continues to bear down on Hawaii, just 400 miles south-southeast of Kailua-Kona as of 2 p.m.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s afternoon update says the storm has maintained its 155 mph maximum sustained winds and moving west-northwest at 10 mph about 550 miles south-southeast of Honolulu. Hurricane-force winds extend up to 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 140 miles.

“On the forecast track, the center of Lane will move very close to or over the main Hawaiian Islands from Thursday through Saturday,” the update said. “Slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Lane is forecast to remain a dangerous hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands.

A hurricane watch, issued early this morning, remains in effect for Maui County and the Big Island. A watch means hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.

Hurricane force winds of 74 mph or more are possible by Thursday in the watch areas, while tropical storm-force winds of 39 mph or more are possible Wednesday night.

Besides winds, forecasters warn that:

>> “Excessive rainfall associated with Lane is expected to affect portions of the Hawaiian Islands from Wednesday into the weekend, leading to flash flooding and landslides. Lane is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches over the Hawaiian Islands.”

>> “Large swells generated by Lane will impact the Hawaiian Islands, beginning tonight on the Big Island and spreading across the remainder of the island chain Wednesday through Thursday. These swells will produce large and potentially damaging surf along exposed west, south and east facing shorelines.”

11 a.m.

Hurricane Lane changed course this morning and is now tracking closer to the Hawaiian islands.

Still packing maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, Lane was located about 410 miles south-southeast of Kailua-Kona and 575 miles south-southeast of Honolulu at 11 a.m. while moving west-northwest at 9 mph, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

Weather officials expect Lane to continue moving on its current track through tonight, turning further northwest Wednesday through Thursday. Lane’s center “will move very close to or over the main Hawaiian islands from Thursday through Saturday,” according to the CPHC.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from Lane’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

8:25 a.m.

Gathering even more strength, Hurricane Lane is now just shy of becoming a Category 5 storm as it continues west toward the islands.

With maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, Lane was about 450 miles south-southeast of Kailua-Kona and 605 miles southeast of Honolulu at 8 a.m. while moving west at 9 mph, down from 12 mph at 5 a.m.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from Lane’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

6:45 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for all islands as Hurricane Lane approaches Hawaii.

Lane is bringing with it deep tropical moisture from the south, which forecasters say will increase the chances for heavy rainfall as it spreads across the islands from the east.

The flash flood watch is due to go into effect Wednesday morning and last through Friday afternoon.

Additionally, a high surf advisory remains in effect for the east-facing shores of Maui and Hawaii island through 6 p.m. today.

Surf up to 12 feet along affected shores is expected.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

Hurricane Lane, which strengthened to a major hurricane last night, maintained its status overnight and remains on a westward course.

The Category 4 hurricane was packing maximum sustained winds of 150 mph and was located 450 miles south-southeast of Kailua-Kona and 620 miles southeast of Honolulu while heading west at 12 mph at 5 a.m., according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

A hurricane watch has been issued for the counties of Hawaii and Maui, and additional tropical storm or hurricane watches may be required later today or tonight, forecasters said. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

Weather officials still expect Lane to make a turn toward the northwest Wednesday through Thursday with the center of the storm expected to pass close of Hawaii island and Maui on Thursday. Slight weakening is also forecast over the next few days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from Lane’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu said that damaging tropical storm-force winds on the Big Island could begin as early as Wednesday, with hurricane-force winds possible Wednesday night. For Maui County, tropical storm-force winds could begin as early as Wednesday night, with hurricane force winds possible on Thursday.

Forecasters warned: “Bands of intense showers and thunderstorms surrounding Lane will begin to overspread the state from south to north, reaching the Big Island late tonight or Wednesday morning. Excessive rainfall is possible which could lead to major flash flooding, landslides and mudslides. Flooding can occur even in areas not usually prone to flooding. Storm total rainfall amounts greater than 20 inches are possible.”

The hurricane center reminded the public to be prepared, no matter what the direct path of the hurricane. “As Lane is expected to be slow-moving as it nears the islands, it will produce large and damaging surf, mainly along exposed south- and west-facing shores,” they said. “It is much too early to confidently determine which, if any, of the main Hawaiian islands will be directly impacted by Lane. Even if the center of Lane were to remain offshore, it is important to remember that impacts from a hurricane can extend well away from the center.”


The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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