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Hurricane Lane strengthened to a Category 5, heads to Hawaii

NASA satellite image shows Hurricane Lane in the Central part of the Pacific Ocean southeast of the Hawaiian Islands at 2:01 p.m. local time, Monday, Aug. 20, 2018.

(NASA via AP)

Hurricane Lane, which is guided in the direction of Hawaii, strengthened Tuesday to a Category 5 storm, the National Weather Service announced.

The hurricane could now produce winds of 157 km / h or higher, heavy rain, flooding and high waves. The winds are capable of knocking down trees and power poles, the NWS said.

The hurricane is about 500 miles southeast of Honolulu on Wednesday morning.

NASA satellite image shows Hurricane Lane in the Central part of the Pacific Ocean southeast of the Hawaiian Islands, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018.

(NASA via AP)

Hurricane Lane “is forecast to move dangerously close to the main islands of hawaii as a hurricane, later this week can bring damaging winds and life-threatening floods from heavy rainfall,” the weather service’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center warned.

Earlier Tuesday, the weather service issued a hurricane warning for Hawaii island and a hurricane watch for Oahu, Maui, and other smaller islands, meaning tropical storm-force winds, excessive rain and large swells could come from Wednesday.

The weather service also issued a hurricane watch for Maui and other smaller islands, meaning tropical storm-force winds, excessive rain and large swells could come from Wednesday. It is possible for Oahu and Kauai, which can later be included in a recommendation for the hurricane.

But the hurricane center said the storm will go very close to or on the islands from Thursday to Saturday.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed an emergency proclamation on Tuesday in anticipation of the storm, that provide relief for disaster damages, loss and suffering as a result of the hurricane.

Hawaii residents rushed to the stores to stock up on bottled water, windows that open, toilet paper and other supplies.

A huge satellite loop of Hurricane Lane with a proper eye function, but this big hurricane is nothing to relax about for the Hawaiian Islands. Hurricane watches are for Maui and Hawaii Counties, and potential hazards are extremely dangerous to surf. #HurricaneLane https://t.co/J13WNW7516

— NWS (@NWS), 21 August 2018

Maui County and Big Island schools will be closed from Wednesday until further notice, the Ministry of Education said. All after school activities are cancelled for the rest of the week.

Old Hawaii residents recalled a devastating 1992 hurricane as they prepared for the Hurricane Lane.

This allows us to line-up of services and resources prior so that we can keep our communities safe. Never seen such a dramatic change in the forecast track with #HurricaneLane. At the urging of residents and visitors to prepare for a major impact. More: https://t.co/uFM1uikJDF pic.twitter.com/0266iMnnE8

— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii) 22 August 2018

Kauai resident Mike Miranda was 12 when Hurricane Iniki devastated the island 26 years ago. He said Iniki turn to the islands was all of a sudden.

“A lot of people are comparing the similarities between Iniki and Lane,” he said. “I remember how little rain fell. But I remember the wind being the strongest force of nature I have ever seen and probably the most terrifying sounds I’ve ever heard in my life.”

Utility poles were down all over the island, and his 7th grade classes were held in Army tents for a few months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Amy’s Place is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

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