Trump issues disaster declaration ahead of Lane

24 August, 2018, 02:14 | Author: Grady Montgomery
  • 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

The category 4 storm could slam into the islands Thursday with winds exceeding 100 miles per hour (161 kph), making it the most powerful storm to hit Hawaii since Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

AccuWeather reports that Lane has the potential to be the single-costliest hurricane in recorded history of Hawaii and may end up causing the most expensive hurricane damage in all of the country for the 2018 hurricane season.

Lane is expected to weaken slowly through Friday, but it still is forecast "to remain a unsafe hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands", the National Weather Service's Central Pacific Hurricane Center says.

Some computer models show Lane could make landfall near Maui, but other computer guidance has Lane moving west, away from Hawaii, which would decrease the storm's overall impact.

Governor David Ige declared a state of emergency Tuesday on Big Island to help provide relief for damage from the hurricane. Almost 12 inches had already fallen on the Big Island by late Wednesday.

It's feared the storm, which boasts 250km/h winds, could cause flash flooding and landslides in Hawaii with up to 50mm of rain expected over the coming days according to forecasts.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) urged the Filipino community in Hawaii to make necessary preparations in anticipation of a powerful hurricane that is expected to hit the islands starting Thursday evening.

All of the islands are under weather alerts.

Big Island and Maui are under a hurricane warning, while Oahu and Kauai to the north remain on hurricane watch - meaning they could face these conditions in the next two days.

Officials warned the limited shelter space should be a "last resort" and that the shelters are not created to withstand winds greater than about 40 miles per hour (64 kph).

President Donald Trump approved a disaster declaration for Hawaii on Wednesday ahead of the storm.

Hurricane Lane is fast approaching the Hawaiian islands.

The storm's unsafe center could make landfall as it moves past the islands from Thursday through Saturday. Most areas are expected to see 10 to 15 inches while some could get more than 20 inches of rain.

He said government offices would be closed Thursday and Friday as the storm, packing heavy rains, approaches the state.

The downpours could lead to landslides and flooding. "The situation is extremely fluid and we continue to monitor Hurricane Lane's path closely".

The arrival of the storm's outer bands made the threat seem more real.



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