Hurricane Lane Bears Down on Hawaii

Mark Antolin and his son load sand to fill sand bags into his truck as Hurricane Lane approaches Honolulu Hawaii US Wednesday. Hugh Gentry Reuters

Mark Antolin and his son load sand to fill sand bags into his truck as Hurricane Lane approaches Honolulu Hawaii US Wednesday. Hugh Gentry Reuters

All public schools canceled classes until further notice and many state employees have been asked to stay home.

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 ad must stay put.

The torrential rains on the Big Island triggered widespread flooding, including along Hilo's Bayfront.

Despite surging carbon dioxide emissions and the Earth's rising temperatures, the link between Hurricane Lane and human-caused global warming is not direct. According to Hawaii News Now, it is still regarded as the most devastating hurricane in the state's history.

Even close calls are somewhat rare, with Hawaii getting a named storm within 60 miles of its coastline about once every four years on average. According to Climate Central, that high pressure is particularly strong from May through October, prime hurricane season.

Hilo Airport has seen almost 15 inches of rain in the same period of time. It's a small island.

"It's just this feeling I get, that there's the potential for it to be really big", she said.

This is the second hurricane to threaten the Hawaiian Islands in the past month, with Hurricane Hector brushing by just a few weeks ago. It is then predicted to move directly toward Lanai, Maui, Molokai and Oahu. Kauai and Niihau are under a hurricane watch, meaning hurricane conditions are possible and that winds of at least 39 miles per hour are anticipated in the coming days.

Residents across the state were stocking up on water, food, gasoline and emergency supplies as Lane drew nearer.

Some were going for generators and also plywood to board their windows. Where you going to go with a full tank of gas?

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Penny said the volunteers will be there to provide residents with shelter, food, emergency supplies, health services, "all these things that people need after experiencing something like a hurricane".

And many others are leaving.

"Whether it makes landfall or not, it is a risky event and we're ready for it", said Kieserman, adding that almost 300 people had been housed in shelters as of Thursday morning.

"We can't go in because the roads - there's a river of water down there", said Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe.

Tropical storm and hurricane conditions will occur over the course of the day Thursday on the Big Island and in Maui County, while Oahu will see those conditions Thursday night into Friday.

Governor Ige also stated that US President Donald Trump approved a request for emergency aid, allowing the region to have access to federal resources for restoration. This is expected to lead to major, life-threatening flash flooding and landslides over all Hawaiian Islands.

"We expect it to gradually weaken as it gets closer to the islands", Chevalier said.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu reported rainfall on the Big Island already reaching 8 inches in 12 hours late Wednesday.

The ships will remain at sea until the storm threat passes.

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