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Hurricane Lane: Flash Flood Warning Issued For Hilo, Volcano

  • May 13, 2020
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KONA, HI — Hawaii schools are closed and officials declared a state of emergency as the plodding Hurricane Lane passes by the main islands Thursday and Friday. The powerful Category 4 storm could dump as much as 2 feet of rain on the state and bring wind gusts of 145 mph. A flash flood warning remains in effect for Hilo, Volcano and Honoka’a until 6:45 a.m. HST.

The latest forecast track from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center brings the center of Lane “dangerously close to the Hawaiian Islands” Thursday through Saturday, the National Weather Service said. “Regardless of the exact track of the storm, life threatening impacts are likely over many areas as this strong hurricane makes its closest approach,” the agency wrote.

Damaging tropical storm-force winds could whip the Big Island by Thursday morning. Outer rain bands and thunderstorms were already causing heavy rain and flash flooding on the Big Island. Intense rain bands will spread across the other islands Thursday night through Friday and could cause life-threatening flash flooding, mudslides and landslides.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Big Island Interior, Big Island North and East, Big Island Summits, Central Oahu, Haleakala Summit, Kahoolawe, Kohala, Kona, Lanai Makai, Lanai
Mauka, Leeward Haleakala, Maui Central Valley, Maui Leeward West, Maui Windward West, Molokai Leeward, Molokai Windward, Oahu Koolau, Oahu North Shore, Oahu South Shore, Olomana, South
Big Island, Waianae Coast, Waianae Mountains, and Windward Haleakala.

Dangerous hurricane force winds are expected in some areas Thursday afternoon and night. In Maui County and Oahu, tropical storm-force winds could begin late Thursday and hurricane force winds are expected Thursday night into Friday.

The Hawaii Department of Eduction tweeted that all Hawaii public schools and departmen offices across the state will be closed Thursday and Friday.

“Only essential personnel and disaster responders are to report to work,” the tweet said.

Officials said the statewide closures will allow school communities time to prepare for the storm and allow the counties to stand up emergency shelters.

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Kahoolawe, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Niihau, Oahu and the Big Island through late Friday night

“Abundant moisture from Hurricane Lane is expected to move over the Big Island this afternoon and spread northward to the rest of the islands through Friday,” the agency noted. “Heavy rainfall is expected, especially along southeast and east facing slopes.”

The hurricane’s swell will produce very large and rough surf and the agency warned of dangerous rip currents along the south, southeast and southwest shores. Tornadoes and large waterspouts are also possible.

Photo credit: National Hurricane Center

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