Hurricane Lane unleashes flooding and landslides as it gets closer to Hawaii

Residents brave the long lines outside a Costco store in Honolulu on Wednesday

Residents brave the long lines outside a Costco store in Honolulu on Wednesday

Schools and offices are closed in Hawaii and residents are hunkering down to ride out the storm as Hurricane Lane spins toward the islands, causing flash floods, landslides and heavy surf.

"The approval of the Presidential Disaster Declaration means that Hawai'i will have quick and efficient access to federal resources in the wake of Hurricane Lane, as our communities and residents recover from any damage and losses caused by the storm".

CBS says that the safety of the cast and crew are the top priority and that they are "closely monitoring the situation" as the hurricane isn't expected to hit Oahu until Thursday.

Governor David Ige has urged residents to take the threat seriously and prepare for the worst by setting aside a 14-day supply of water, food and medicines.

As of 11 a.m. ET Thursday, the storm had sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, making it a Category 4 storm, but just barely.

Up to 10-30 inches of rain is forecast in some areas through the weekend, which could trigger even more landslides in parts of the Big Island.

"Hawaii is a small target in the big ocean, so it just has to be really good timing and the conditions have to be right for us to get a direct hit", Eric Lau, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Honolulu, told the Associated Press in 2014, when two hurricanes were aimed at the islands (they missed).

The powerful cyclone is threatening to make landfall Thursday, with sustained winds reaching up to 230 kilometres per hour, making this storm potentially the largest to hit the U.S. state in 26 years, since Hurricane Iniki.

On Oahu, an island of almost one million people, Elisabeth Brinson watching surfers earlier in the day from her balcony on the ninth floor of the Hawaiian Hilton Village in Waikiki.

At about midday NZT, the hurricane was making its turn past Big Island, and was heading towards Maui and Oahu. Kauai County, including the island of Niihau, is under a hurricane watch.

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In Maui County, damaging tropical storm-force winds could begin late Thursday and risky hurricane-force winds Thursday night and early Friday.

For many, those memories are influencing how they prepare for this storm.

A sidewalk is ripped up and littered with downed palm trees after Hurricane Iniki slammed the island of Kauai, Hawaii, in September 1992.

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

Lane is expected to run parallel to the Big Island by 8 p.m. HST (2 a.m. ET) and continue to do so for 12 hours.

Lane could become a further rarity if its center crosses land. Some areas could see up to about 80 centimetres of rain.

The White House said that federal authorities were on standby to provide support and supplies to local and state emergency response efforts.

Excessive rainfall will lead to unsafe flash flooding, landslides and mudslides in areas that are already drenched.

Hurricane Lane was still a Category 3 as of this morning.

Shelters were open throughout the islands, with 350 people in them in Oahu.

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