Hurricane Lane: First Major Hurricane to Hit Hawaii in Decades

Hurricane Lane
Photo by Central Pacific Hurricane Center

Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 hurricane, could become the first major hurricane to make landfall in Hawaii in 26 years, according to CNN. The storm is currently just over 200 miles south-southwest of the Big Island, as of early Thursday morning. It’s expected to approach the islands Friday and Saturday before moving further east starting Sunday morning before heading out into the Pacific Monday and Tuesday. As of 11 a.m. this morning, Lane had sustained winds of 130 mph and wind gusts of up to 160 mph.

On the islands, schools and government offices are closed, and Hawaii governor David Ige has urged residents to stock up on two weeks' worth of supplies. President Donald Trump has also issued a disaster declaration for Hawaii, Fox 35 Orlando reports, allowing for the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts.

Landslides are expected, as are upwards of 30 inches of rain, with a foot of rain already having fallen on parts of the Big Island. Waves up to 25 feet on the southern side of the islands are expected to pose the largest threat, according to the Washington Post. Flash flood warnings remain in place for 28 counties, which can be tracked on the NOAA’s National Weather Service.

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Only four hurricanes/tropical storms have ever hit Hawaii: Hurricane Dot in 1959; Hurricane Iniki in 1992; Tropical Storm Iselle in 2014; and Tropical Storm Darby in 2016.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center adds that no tropical cyclones are expected during the next five days. For additional updates, follow the National Weather Service in Honolulu.

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