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article imageHawaii warned of 'life-threatening impacts' of Hurricane Lane

By Karen Graham     Aug 23, 2018 in Environment
Honolulu - Hurricane Lane's outer bands were pummeling parts of Hawaii's Big Island with rain Thursday, triggering landslides and threatening serious flooding as the Category 4 cyclone moved perilously close to the Aloha State.
The latest update from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center today puts Hurricane Lane 205 miles (330 km) southwest of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island and 290 miles (465 km0 south of Honolulu, with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 kph).
The storm was moving northwest at about 7 miles an hour (11 kph) with a minimum central pressure of 949 MB or 28.03 inches. Lane is expected to make a turn toward the north tonight and Friday, as the storm's forward motion slows.
A turn toward the west is expected on Saturday and Sunday, with an increase in the forward speed. On the forecast track, the center of Lane will move dangerously close to or over portions of the main Hawaiian islands later today through Friday.
If the center of the storm moves over the main islands or crosses land, it would become the first major cyclone to make landfall in the state in 26 years. According to the National Weather Service, Hawaii can expect tropical storm and hurricane-force winds to parts of Hawaii, with up to 30 inches of rain in some areas, reports the New York Times.
On Wednesday, Hawaii Governor David Ige requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration in the light of the latest storm projections. President Trump issued an emergency declaration for the state on Thursday morning, authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate relief efforts.
Barring any infrastructure damage, the state's 13 airports will remain open, although there have been a few flight delays. And the County of Hawaii Civil Defense agency said flooding and landslides had closed some roads, including Highway 19 north of Hilo, and waters were rising in creeks and streams.
Alex Gibbs, a forecaster with the National Weather Service’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu, is a "very rare event" There have only been two Category 5 storms that have passed within 350 miles south of the Big Island in the history of the agency's record keeping.
Gibbs said the last was John. In August 1994; that storm passed by the westward side of the islands and had “very little impact.” Lane was at one point also a Category 5 before weakening on its approach.
More about Hawaii, Hurricane Lane, lifethreatening impacts, category 4, unpredictable track
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