Hurricane Lane soaks up Hawaii's Big Island dumping 30cm of rain

President Trump Declares State Of Emergency In Hawaii As Islanders Prepare For Hurricane Lane

The storm spun in the Pacific Ocean about 165 miles (260 kilometers) southwest of Kailua-Kona and almost 20 inches (51 centimeters) of rain had fallen on the eastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

Hurricane conditions, including winds of at least 74 miles per hour, will start in parts of the Oahu, Maui, Lanai and Molokai islands Friday, the Hurricane Center said.

Lane was not projected to make direct hit on the islands, but officials warned that even a lesser blow could do significant harm. Always heed the advice of local officials and comply with any orders that are issued. Nearly 2,000 people on the island lost power, according to Maui Electric, but for most, it was quickly restored.

Elsewhere, a brushfire forced the relocation of a hurricane shelter in Lahaina on the island of Maui. A Maui County spokesman said it's was not clear if the fire was hurricane related. The flames spread to 300 acres (121 hectares), and a woman who was burned in the hands and legs was flown to Honolulu, Maui County spokesman Rod Antone said.

In some areas, almost two feet of rain has already fallen and two or three more are expected to fall across the islands.

The National Hurricane Centre warned that storm surges could bring 6 metre waves and raise water levels 1 to 1.5 metres above normal along the western shores of the Big Island.

"The sponge is full", he said.

As of 2 am, the hurricane was 540 kilometres south of Honolulu and moving northwest.

Sirens wailed while workers piled sandbags in front of hotels and police blared warnings to tourists to leave the world-famous Waikiki Beach on Oahu island.

Authorities also warned that the shelters are not created to withstand winds greater than about 40 miles per hour (64 kph) and that for most people they should be a "last resort". Emergency crews rescued five California tourists from a home they were renting in Hilo after a nearby gulch overflowed and it flooded Thursday.

Suzanne Demerais said a tiny waterfall and small stream were flowing near the home when she first arrived with four friends from the Los Angeles area.

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A very big storm is coming for Hawaii, an island state that's largely avoided encounters with major cyclones in recent memory. A hurricane watch is in effect for the Big Island and Maui as islanders brace for potential effects from Hurricane Lane.

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Hawaii County firefighters, who were in touch with the home's owner, made a decision to evacuate the group before the water rose any higher.

Brinson said many shops were closed, and those still open were frantic with people buying food, beer and water to take back to their rooms.

"(I'm) filling up my bathtub with some water, hoping to board up my main windows in time", a shopper on the Big Island, Shana Bartolome, told CNN affiliate KHON on Tuesday.

Hawaiians have been urged to buckle down with supplies as the island prepares to be hit by Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 cyclone.

"We knew it was coming, so I tried to just cram as much as I could into the last few days in anticipation so we could cross things off of our list", said Brinson, who is accustomed to hurricanes after living in Florida.

Ohana by Hawaiian Airlines, which operates inter-island flights, canceled some flights on Thursday and all flights on Friday.

However, the airline said it'll be running two nonscheduled "recovery" flights Thursday morning - one each out of Maui and Honolulu - to bring passengers off the islands, including those scheduled to fly out this evening.

The 15 airports throughout the state will remain open as long they don't suffer damage to their infrastructure or the debris "makes flight operations unsafe", the Hawaii Department of Transportation said in a statement.

"The only concern is those that venture outside of the properties, that would like to hike on a day like this or who would like to still go into the ocean and see what it's like to take a swim or surf in these kind of waters", Hannemann said.

Hurricanes rarely hit the Central Pacific region, due to currents and water conditions.

The Coast Guard has ordered all harbours to close to incoming vessels.

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