Published: Thu, August 23, 2018
Sci-tech | By Spencer Schmidt

'Major' Hurricane Lane Reaches Category 4; Warnings Issued

'Major' Hurricane Lane Reaches Category 4; Warnings Issued

A Category 5 hurricane is headed for Hawaii with wind speeds up to 160 miles per hour.

At the time of writing, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has classified Lane as a potent Category 5 hurricane. Roofs and walls will collapse.

The hurricane, which is forecast to begin pummeling the islands later today (Aug. 22), has already prompted the governor of Hawaii to declare a state of emergency.

The most powerful storm to hit Hawaii was the Category 4 Hurricane Inki, which struck Kauai island in September 1992. A hurricane watch remained in effect for Oahu and other smaller islands.

On Tuesday morning, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, based in Honolulu, posted hurricane watches for the eastern Hawaiian Islands, including the Big Island and Maui, as tropical-storm force winds and heavy rain could effect those areas as soon as Wednesday or Thursday.

The storm, with sustained winds of 160 miles per hour as of 11 p.m. HDT (5 a.m. EDT), is predicted to either graze or directly strike the islands in the coming days.

NHC said potential flash flooding, landslides and mudslides are likely.

"Slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Lane is forecast to remain a risky hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands", the centre said.

"On its forecast track, the center of Lane will move very close to or over the main Hawaiian Islands from Thursday-Saturday". Wave heights and currents typically increase before a storm makes landfall.

The latest track from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center has just about all the island chain inside the "Cone of Uncertainty". Total rainfall amounts of more than 20 inches are possible, the National Weather Service said.

They are also working with the Hawaii Tourism Authority and hotels to be sure visitors are informed of the hurricane and dangers that come with it.

Gov. David Ige (D) said he will allow nonessential state employees on the Big Island and Maui to go on administrative leave through Friday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory flies a scientific mission into the eye of Hurricane Lane.

Parts of South River Road in the Horseman's Parkway area are closed due to flooding on the roadway.

In addition to strong winds, the primary threats will be rough surf, coastal erosion, and heavy rainfall, even if the center of the storm does not move directly over the islands.

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