Hurricane threat for Hawaii's Big Island extends to include Maui

Hurricane threat for Hawaii's Big Island extends to include Maui

Hurricane threat for Hawaii's Big Island extends to include Maui

The National Weather Service said tropical-storm-force winds could begin as early as Wednesday afternoon on the Big Island.

On Tuesday morning, Lane was positioned 450 miles south-southeast of Kona, tracking west at 12 mph. Roofs and walls will collapse.

Hawaii has been put on alert amid fears a massive hurricane could be about to batter the island, with potential winds of up to 157mph forecast.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Hawaii County and Maui County - including Maui Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe - while a hurricane watch was issued for Oahu and Kauai islands. The National Weather Service's Central Pacific Hurricane Center expects Lane to move very close to over Hawaii from Thursday through Saturday.

Lane's center is predicted to pass close to the island of Hawaii, also known as the "Big Island", and Maui, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. "A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations hard or risky".

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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. "Some of these options include adding additional mooring and storm lines, dropping the anchor, and disconnecting shore power cables".

Hurricane Lane, weakening to a Category 4 storm as it pushes through the Pacific, is still as much as three days away from Hawaii but is already bringing heavy rain to the Big Island. Excessive rainfall could trigger widespread, life-threatening flash flooding and landslides; and risky rip currents along south, southeast and southwest facing shores. Wave heights and currents typically increase before a storm makes landfall.

"Hawaii is a small target in the big ocean, so it just has to be really good timing and the conditions have to be right for us to get a direct hit", Eric Lau, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Honolulu, told the Associated Press in 2014. As Lane will be slow-moving as it nears the islands, prolonged heavy rainfall and life-threatening flash flooding will be possible.

Also Tuesday, Gov. David Ige and Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim signed emergency proclamations ahead of the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Lane.

South Point Road from the Kamaoa Road junction to South Point is closed to all through traffic and open to local residents only.

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