FEMA will use their discretion when distributing resources and depending upon the Hurricane Lane’s impact, could expand efforts and resources.
America’s Pacific paradise is now under a state of emergency as Hurricane Lane soaks the Big Island.
Public schools on the Big Island and in Maui County are closed Wednesday until further notice.
An alert notice sent to all mobile phones in the Honolulu area on Wednesday afternoon to warn of Hurricane Lane’s arrival.
A hurricane watch is in effect for Kauai County, meaning hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. Aid agencies were also working to help Hawaii’s sizable homeless population, many of whom live near beaches and streams that could flood. In addition, she said, warmer temperatures put more moisture in the atmosphere, producing greater rainfall, which in a place like Hawaii means greater flooding and mudslides. “And it’s going to hang around for a while as it moves, because it is moving slowly”, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said.
Some ships now undergoing repairs will not be sent away from Pearl Harbor.
An estimate of over 30 inches of rain fell on the big island through Friday morning. U.S. Navy ships and submarines based in Hawaii were instructed to leave port, a common practice when a hurricane approaches to avoid damage.
The National Weather Service says the hurricane will still pack a wallop for Hawaii on Thursday before gradually slowing over the next two days.
About 200 miles and several islands to the northwest, tourists wandered Waikiki Beach and took leisurely swims as shopkeepers prepared to reopen.
With maximum sustained winds slowing to 155 miles per hour, Lane was downgraded from a Category 5 storm to the Category 4 level on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale as it surged westerly across the Pacific Ocean.
He said it may drop to a Category 3 by today but that would still be a major hurricane.
NOAA’s 11pm HST advisory reported Lane was now located 220 km south-southwest of Honolulu and 305 km south-southeast of Lihue.
Forecasters have warned the cyclone could move “dangerously close” to portions of the state throughout the day.
Hawaii is bracing for the most powerful storm to reach the islands in 25 years.
Meteorologist Chevy Chevalier with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu said that’s the biggest concern with the approaching storm, unless it changes course and veers closer to land.
But it’s the Big Island of Hawaii – the easternmost island in the chain – that has been hammered hardest by rain.
The state’s governor tweeted all of that water has led to “catastrophic flooding”. The hurricane is about 804 kilometers southeast of Honolulu.
The storm spun in the Pacific Ocean about 170 miles (280 km) southwest of Kailua-Kona and almost 20 inches (51 cm) of rain had fallen on the eastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.
Hawaii’s disaster-weary residents already have endured historic torrential rains, fiery volcanic eruptions and earthquakes this year, but Category 4 Hurricane Lane, churning off the coast of the Big Island on Thursday, presents a threat unlike any the islands have seen in decades.
The storm is expected to turn westward toward the other Hawaiian Islands on Saturday (Aug. 25), the NWS reported.