Hawaii braces for Category 5 Hurricane Lane

Dennis Fujimoto  The Garden Island           Sandy Swift loads supplies into the back of her car Monday afternoon in the Walmart parking lot

Dennis Fujimoto The Garden Island Sandy Swift loads supplies into the back of her car Monday afternoon in the Walmart parking lot

The University of Hawai'i at Hilo will remain closed on Thursday, August 23, 2018 for precautionary measures in anticipation of unsafe storm conditions from Hurricane Lane.

Iniki's unexpected movement meant the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) failed to warn Hawaiians until less than 24 hours before it hit, with forecasters incorrectly assuming the system would pass south of the islands.

Residents in low lying areas of Ka'u and Kona subject to wave impacts must take necessary precautions to protect life and property due to unsafe storm surge and large waves.

All public and charter schools and Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) offices on Hawaii Island and in Maui County will be closed Wednesday, Aug. 22, until further notice, in anticipation of unsafe storm conditions from Hurricane Lane.

The Category 4 storm's unsafe center could make landfall this week, but even if it doesn't, it should draw close to the islands Thursday through Saturday, bringing destructive winds and as many as 20 inches of rain onshore, forecasters said.

In this scenario, 10 to 15 inches of rain would be possible over the island chain, with 20 inches or more not out of the question in the mountains.

As Hurricane Lane bears down on Hawaii, three dozen people from California were preparing Wednesday to leave for the islands to help in the relief effort.

But the agency cautioned, "Lane is forecast to remain a unsafe hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands". Storm surge is also likely to be an issue, but which locations see surge, and how high it is, will depend on the exact track of the storm.

While tropical storms and hurricanes regularly roam in the waters nearby Hawaii, direct effects from storms as intense as Lane are unusual, and its population is not well-accustomed to them.

The path for Hurricane Lane will take it close to Honolulu by Friday. Only two hurricanes have made landfall in Hawaii since modern record keeping began; Hurricane Dot in 1959, and 1992's Hurricane Iniki, a category four storm that made landfall west of Kauai.

Hawaii Public Radio has a rundown of emergency phone numbers and guides for Hawaii residents preparing for the storm.

Schools on the Big Island and in Maui County have already been closed until further notice. It is too early to predict which, if any, of the islands will be directly impacted.

"Hurricane Lane is not a well-behaved hurricane", Ige said in a statement Tuesday. ESE swell from Lane being felt on the Big Island trends to a more southerly directed swell for exposed South Shores, especially on Oahu and Kauai through the back half of the week.

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