Hurricane Lane threatened Hawaii as a Category 3 storm; campers trapped in the valley, officials say



Hurricane Lane brings heavy rain, strong winds to Hawaii

Hawaiian Islands brace for up to 30 inches of rain; Adam Housley reports from Maui.

As the Hurricane Lane barrels in the direction of the Hawaiian islands drenching parts of the state, with rain, officials said Thursday that they received a call about two campers stranded in a valley on the Big Island.

The couple are reported to be stuck in the Waipio Valley, on the northern coast of the island of Hawaii, the Big Island, on Wednesday, Hawaii County Director Wants, Okabe said.


Hurricane Lane and Hawaii: What to know

Serious conditions, such as landslides and flooded roads have made it unsafe for emergency response workers searching for the campers, Okabe said, adding that he or she is not able to get in contact with them.

“We can’t go in, because the roads — there is a river of water down there.”

The officials also said Thursday the storm was downgraded to a Category 3, still considered a major hurricane with maximum sustained winds between 111 and 129 km / h.

Hurricane Lane, located approximately 260 km south of Honolulu and has a maximum sustained winds of 125 mph, depending on an 8 p.m. and update of the National Weather Service’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC). The “slow” storm towards the north-northwest at 6 km / h.


A person sets plywood to protect windows on a house in the preparation of the Hurricane Lane on Wednesday in Kapolei, Hawaii.

(AP Photo/John Locher)

Hurricane warnings remained in effect for Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii County, with a hurricane watch issued for Kauai County, CPHC said.

“On the forecast track, the centre of the Lane will go on, or dangerously close to parts of the main Hawaiian islands later today and Friday, Thursday, the update said. “Some weakening is expected during the next 48 hours, but Lane is expected to remain a hurricane as it approaches the islands.”

The storm has dumped nearly 20 inches of rain on parts of the Big Island so far, the update says, with “excessive” rain to continue into the weekend over Hawaii. The heavy rains also brings with it the possibility of a “life-threatening floods and landslides.”

Road closures were reported by the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency on Twitter, which urged residents “of the road, unless absolutely necessary.” A reported landslide led to the closure of both lanes of Highway 19 at km 13, the agency tweeted, with a mention of the Hawaii Police Department.

Heavy rainfall remains on the windward side of the island due to the delay of Hurricane Lane. Major and secondary road closures are in effect. Stay of the road unless it is absolutely necessary. #Lane #HurricaneLane #flooding

— COH Civil Defense (@CivilDefenseHI) August 23, 2018

HPD reports to 4 pm Hwy 19 km 13 is closed both lanes due to a landslide. DOT est. 2 hours to reopen. There are no detours in this area.

— COH Civil Defense (@CivilDefenseHI) August 23, 2018


Pablo Akira Beimler, who lives on the coast in Honokaa on the Big Island, told The Associated Press that the road to Hilo was cut off by landslides.

“We are essentially one way in and out of our cities so shelter in place is the priority,” Beimler said.

Employees of the Sheraton Waikiki to fill sandbags along the beach in preparation for the Hurricane Lane on Thursday in Honolulu.

(AP Photo/John Locher)

Flash flood warnings were also in effect for several locations on the Big Island and Maui County, according to the National Weather Service Honolulu Twitter.

President Trump on Thursday, said that he “authorized an emergency disaster declaration to give Hawaii the necessary support” for the approaching storm. Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Wednesday that he asked for a presidential disaster declaration.

I have authorized an emergency disaster declaration to give Hawaii the necessary support to move forward #HurricaneLane. Our teams are in close consultation with the state and local governments. You are in our thoughts!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2018

The central Pacific gets less hurricanes than the other regions, with only four or five named storms per year, and Hawaii is rarely hit. The last major storm to hit was Iniki in 1992.

Fox News’ Travis Fedschun, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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