BBC journalist hit by tree while reporting on Hurricane Lane | Sunday Tribune

BBC journalist hit by tree while reporting on Hurricane Lane | Sunday Tribune

BBC journalist hit by tree while reporting on Hurricane Lane | Sunday Tribune

Paradise looks different when a fierce hurricane is raging along its shores.

As workers piled sandbags and boarded up store windows, pictures showed many still enjoying the waves of Honolulu's Waikiki Beach Thursday.

And inside grocery stores across the Hawaiian Islands, people are hoarding water, toilet paper and Spam.

Hawaii's Big Island is being battered by heavy rainfall, wind and "catastrophic flooding" this morning (Aug. 24) as the entire state braces for the advance of Hurricane Lane, a Category 3 storm in the central Pacific Ocean with sustained winds of up to 120 miles per hour (193 km/h), according to updates from the National Weather Service (NWS). Hawaii Gov. David Ige told residents to avoid floodwaters and runoff "due to possible overflowing cesspools, sewer, manholes, pesticides, animal fecal matter, dead animals, pathogens, chemicals, and associated flood debris".

"We're telling everybody to take the storm seriously, make your final preparations, and be prepared to ride out what is going to be a prolonged rain event", said spokesman for the city and county of Honolulu, Andrew Pereira.

You may watch Hurricane Lane tracking and coverage as it streams live from NBC News in the video player below. The National Weather Service warned that some areas could see up to 30 inches before the system passes.

"That was total destruction", he said of Iniki. Manila already had purchased water and two cases of Spam the day before, but anxious the stock wouldn't be enough for him and his family. "I just came from Pahale Park, and there's no park". Manila also bought another four cans of Spam and a 20-pound bag of rice.

Long lines of cars formed at gas stations in Honolulu and people pulled small boats from the water ahead of the expected storm surge.

Into the evening, forecasts made clear that Hawaii had been spared from the threat of its first direct hit by a major hurricane in a quarter of a century.

Moving northwest at 11kph, the National Weather Service downgraded the storm to a category 3 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

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There were no immediate reports of injuries, but at least 14 roads had been closed because of flash floods and landslides in the Pacific island state, she said.

A hurricane warning was in effect for Oahu and Maui County late Thursday, and tropical storm conditions were already happening in both areas as of late Thursday local time. "But you prepare for the worst-case scenario".

Hurricanes rarely hit the Central Pacific region, due to currents and water conditions.

It's no surprise the astronauts are keeping an especially close eye on the path of Hurricane Lane.

The BBC reports that schools and offices in Hawaii have been closed as residents are taking shelter from the storm.

"It wasn't raining when Noah built the arc, so what that means is readiness is important", said Brad Kieserman, Vice President for Disaster Operations for the American Red Cross.

"It is much too early to confidently determine which, if any, of the main Hawaiian islands will be directly impacted by Lane", the weather service said.

Honolulu shelters opened to residents at 10 a.m. Thursday.

"We essentially have one way in and out of our towns so sheltering in place is the priority", Beimler said in a Twitter message. The state has 1.4 million residents but only 300,000 available shelter spaces, state officials said Wednesday morning at a news conference in Honolulu.

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