Hawaii residents brace for impact as Hurricane Lane grows to Category 5

Hawaii residents brace for impact as Hurricane Lane grows to Category 5

Hawaii residents brace for impact as Hurricane Lane grows to Category 5

They then placed the hurricane in category 5, the highest category a hurricane can be given.

On Tuesday night, the National Weather Service announced that Hurricane Lane had become a Category 5 hurricane, which means that it is likely to cause catastrophic damage with winds 157 miles per hour or above.

"One thing is for sure, the coast will continue to feel the impacts of swell, gradually increasing with the approaching storm to a peak around mid-week with strong surf (large waves for some of the well-exposed areas)", Warren said. Watches may be extended to the western islands, the Hurricane Center said. A hurricane watch was in effect for Oahu and Kauai.

While the Big Island, at most immediate risk from Lane, has been hit by tropical depressions and storms, it also has never been struck directly by a hurricane-strength storm in modern records.

National Weather Service meteorologist Melissa Dye says Hurricane Lane was 320 miles (515 kilometers) southeast of Hilo shortly before 5:30 a.m.

Tropical storm-force winds and torrential rain could start arriving on Wednesday.

Damaging tropical-storm-force winds on the Big Island could start as early as this afternoon or evening, with unsafe hurricane force winds possible by tonight.

Deep tropical moisture associated with Lane will spread across all islands.

'This is expected to result in very heavy rainfall, potentially leading to flash flooding'. Isolated areas of the islands could see more than 20 inches. All of Hawaii is under a flash flood watch.

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"We're not a sheltering place for the community", she said, explaining that during the January false missile alert a lot of people sought refuge at the facility. A High Surf Advisory has been issued for all South-facing shores.

Iniki was Category 4 storm with winds of 140 miles per hour and it caused $3.1 billion worth of damage.

Tornadoes and large waterspouts will be possible due to Lane, mainly along and to the right of the track of the hurricane, the weather service said.

More hurricane watches were expected to be issued for other Hawaiian islands, said the Honolulu-based hurricane center.

But the hurricane centre said the storm will move very close to or over the islands from Thursday through Saturday. Slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Lane is forecast to remain a unsafe hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands.

The weather service urges residents and visitors to keep informed about the movements of Lane and to be prepared to evacuate immediately.

Those not under evacuation orders should assess the risk from wind, falling trees and flooding.

"At this time, it looks like maybe Puna will be spared", county Managing Director Wil Okabe said of the beleaguered, rural district.

Please follow the National Weather Service, other official agencies and local media for the latest weather news.

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