Hawaii 'dodged a bullet,' as Lane weakens to tropical storm

With no place to run, people in Hawaii brace for hurricane | Miami Herald

Hawaii rarely gets hit, and the last major storm there was Iniki in 1992.

The category four Hurricane Lane is set to track past the islands this weekend, bringing heavy rain, surges and possible flash flooding.

Earlier on Thursday the storm was downgraded to category three strength.

Thousands were left without power after torrential downpour dumped 35 inches of rain across Big Island in just 48 hours. Parts of the Big Island (which is far out of the cone of uncertainty at this point-meaning the eye won't even skirt the island) have seen more than 30 inches of rain and some areas are experiencing flooding.

Hurricanes rarely make landfall in Hawaii and the last major storm to strike the state was almost three decades ago, when Hurricane Iniki barreled into the island of Kauai, leaving six dead and causing billions of dollars in damage. "This westward motion is forecast to continue through Sunday", the center said.

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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.

Free transport will be available between the capital and Oahu island's evacuation shelters, which had welcomed around 350 people by noon, according to the Maui 24/7 local news portal.

Hawaii County Civil Defense said heavy rainfall was already occurring on the Big Island, and flooding and landslides forced the closure of Highway 19 in Hilo and Honomu, as well as several other roadways, NBC affiliate KHNL of Honolulu reported. Occasional stronger rain showers moved through the area, soaking the streets and early-rising tourists.

NASA's Ricky Arnold took this photo of Hurricane Lane as it approached Hawaii.

FLORIDO: By Wednesday night, that wind had begun to arrive on Hawaii's Big Island - along with rain and some flooding that officials expect to get much worse the closer that Hurricane Lane gets.

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The hurricane has already caused widespread damage. Waiakea High School was opened as a shelter.

Hawaii is right in the path of the increasingly scary Hurricane Lane.

Jackson Shafer was originally scheduled to fly home to Vancouver on Saturday, but WestJet cancelled the flight along with all outgoing flights from Hawaii on Friday.

The storm is also expected to stir up "life-threatening surf" and unsafe rip currents along numerous state's exposed coastlines, the NWS reported.

United said it has also reduced fares for flights departing out of Hawaii and added two flights out of Honolulu to San Francisco International Airport on Thursday.

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