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Public Schools, Offices Back To Normal Monday

1:10 p.m.

The Hawaii State Department of Education says public schools and offices statewide will resume normal operations Aug. 27, with the exception of four schools in Lahaina that will be closed for students.

The DOE says it continues to work with county, state and federal emergency management agencies “to assess campuses and offices for impacts from the storm,” according to a press release Sunday. “After-school programming and activities including interscholastic athletics will also resume tomorrow.”

The following Maui campuses will be closed for students on Monday:

  • Lahainaluna High
  • Lahaina Intermediate
  • King Kamehameha III Elementary
  • Princess Nahienaena Elementary

Teachers and staff will report to the campuses, and the schools will reopen for students on Tuesday.

— Chad Blair

Lane Downgraded To Tropical Depression

Sunday

7 a.m.

The once mighty hurricane is no longer even a tropical storm. Lane has been downgraded to a tropical depression with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. It was moving west at 10 mph and well past the main Hawaiian islands, the National Weather Service said Sunday morning.

“Lingering moisture associated with Lane will produce heavy rainfall over portions of the main Hawaiian Islands today, which could lead to additional flash flooding and landslides,” the NWS said.

A flash flood watch was in effect for Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii County, but was canceled for Kauai.

On some windward parts of the Big Island, Lane was an epic producer of precipitation.

The storm had dropped up to 51.53 inches there as of Sunday morning, the Associated Press reported. That puts Lane in third place for the most rain from a storm in the United States since 1950. Hurricane Harvey, which stalled over Houston last year, dropped the most rain with 60.58 inches. Hurricane Hiki dropped 52 inches in Hawaii in 1950.

— Richard Wiens

Heavy Rains Hit Kauai

Saturday

8 p.m.

Tropical Storm Lane finally made its debut on Kauai on Saturday, with modest morning winds giving way to heavy rainfall on the North Shore from Kilauea to Kee Beach. Businesses were deserted and the Kauai Police Department prepared to shut down the Hanalei Bridge. 

Drenched and frustrated tourists crowded into Kalypso, a popular eatery, but few people ventured out. Shops closed early and abruptly.

A rain-soaked road in Hanalei.

Allan Parachini

There were no immediate reports of additional damage on Kuhio Highway west of Hanalei, which has been shut down to all but escorted resident convoys since disastrous floods struck in mid-April. 

Residents and officials had been concerned that any significant rainfall accumulations from Lane could cause even more damage to the fragile roadway, where repairs are underway. Authorities briefly shut the highway entirely, but it reopened to limited convoy traffic on Saturday.

— Allan Parachini

Lane Heading West, But Rain Still Soaks Big Island

5:15 p.m.

Tropical Storm Lane continues to move west away from Hawaii, but lingering moisture could produce heavy rainfall over the islands through Sunday. That could lead to additional flash flooding and landslides, the National Weather Service said in a 5 p.m. advisory.

Lane was producing maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and was moving west at 9 mph.

A flash flood warning for the rain-soaked Big Island was extended until at least 8 p.m.

The NWS said that at 4:42 p.m., “radar showed intense rain from a thunderstorm over the lower Puna District. The most intense rainfall of 2 to 3 inches per hour was over the area from Hawaiian Paradise Park to Leilani Estates. Additional rainfall is expected to move over the east-facing slopes of the Big Island through early this evening.”

Locations in the flash flood warning area included Hilo, Hawaiian Acres, Orchidland Estates, Glenwood, Pepeekeo, Keaau, Volcano, Laupahoehoe, Wood Valley, Hawaiian Paradise Park and Pahoa.

A flash flood watch is in effect for the rest of the state through 6 p.m. Sunday.

— Richard Wiens

Effects of Hurricane Lane Batter North Shore and Laie

4:10 p.m.

Hurricane Lane’s breakdown into a tropical storm and westward shift meant most of Oahu suffered little more than overcast skies on Saturday, but the storm has still brought nasty weather to parts of the island.

Waves crash against the rocks at Laie Point as the remaining swell from Tropical Storm Lane passes over Oahu.

Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

The weather that battered parts of the North Shore and Koolau Loa was technically not part of Lane, said Maureen Ballard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu. But she said, “It’s still associated loosely.”

Large scale weather patterns like Lane involve a lot of moisture, Ballard said, and outer bands of the storms carry a lot of rain. The result: while the Big Island has been deluged, Oahu can still expect three to five inches of rain on Saturday, Ballard said.

— Stewart Yerton

Tropical Storm Warning Canceled For All Islands

10:57 a.m.

The tropical storm warnings have been canceled for Oahu and Maui. For the first time in days, there are no longer any wind-related coastal warnings or watches in effect statewide, although a flash flood warning remains in effect for the Big Island, and a flash flood watch for other islands.

Lane has slowed to 50-mph maximum sustained winds and has turned west. It is moving at 7 mph. Additional weakening is expected in the next 48 hours, the National Weather Service said in its 11 a.m. advisory.

“Lane is expected to pass about 150 miles south of Kauai later today,” the NWS said.

Heavy rain was still falling on the windward side of the Big Island.

At 10:38 a.m., the NWS said, “radar and rain gauges showed an area of heavy rain moving across the lower Puna and South Hilo Districts from the southeast. Rain rates were around 1 inch per hour. Any additional heavy rain on the fully saturated ground will cause rapid increases of water levels in streams and drainages.”

The advisory added:

“Lingering moisture associated with Tropical Storm Lane will produce excessive rainfall this weekend, which could lead to additional flash flooding and landslides. Lane is expected to produce additional rain accumulations of 5 to 10 inches across windward Big Island and Maui and 3 to 5 inches elsewhere. Localized storm total amounts well in excess of 40 inches have already been observed along the windward side of the Big Island.

“High surf is expected along exposed south and east shorelines of the main Hawaiian Islands today.”

— Richard Wiens

Operations To Resume At Honolulu Harbor

10:40 a.m.

Honolulu Harbor, along with other harbors around the state, were taken out of condition “Zulu” and allowed to resume operations.

They must still exercise caution, however, in case of any debris in the water, Hawaii Department of Transportation spokeswoman Shelly Kunishige said.

At least two container ships, the Horizon Pacific and Matson’s Mahimahi, were already scheduled to be in port Saturday, according to the port scheduling website Port Call.

Honolulu Harbor Matson Shipping Matsonia. preparedness.

A Matson shipping vessel docked in Honolulu Harbor earlier this summer.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Oahu’s harbors, including Kalaeloa Harbor, have been closed since Thursday. Maui and Hawaii County ports were put on condition Zulu Wednesday.

It’s still not yet clear what sort of economic impact, if any, the port closures had on the state.

Hilo and Kawaihae Harbors opened Friday afternoon. Other ports that are now open include Kahului, Kaunakakai, Nawiliwili and Port Allen.

Kaumalapau on Maui is still at condition Zulu, according to a press release.

— Blaze Lovell

Some Zippy’s Restaurants To Open

9:30 a.m.

Count the ever-popular Zippy’s chain among the many Hawaii businesses re-opening for service.

By 10:30 a.m., 23 Zippy’s locations will re-open and will return to regular hours, the company says.

Zippy’s in Hilo will remain closed, however, “due to on-going weather issues.”

More: “Some locations may have limited service or limited availability of certain menu items as purveyors continue their own ramp-up of deliveries to our restaurants. We appreciate our guests’ patience as we work to get operations back up to full-speed.”

It’s a fine day for Chili Rice, no?

Meanwhile, City Mill said eight of its hardware stores will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The Waianae store opened at 8 a.m. today. All stores will resume normal hours on Sunday.

— Chad Blair

Thousands Still Without Power On Maui

8:50 a.m.

About 4,800 customers on Maui’s leeward side were without power Saturday morning.

There are also some scattered power outages in Maui’s countryside and in Haiku, said Shannon Tangonan, a Hawaiian Electric Co. spokeswoman. 

A brush fire in Lahaina disrupted transmission lines and knocked out power to about 6,000 customers Friday. The fire was 80 percent contained Saturday morning, said Lynn Araki-Regan, a Maui County spokeswoman. Two other fires near Maalaea and Kaanapali were completely contained.

As of Saturday afternoon, six structures in Lahainaluna and 15 more in Launiupoko were affected by the fires, according to Maui Fire Battalion Chief Michael Werner.

On Oahu, about 2,200 HECO customers in Waipahu were without power early Saturday, but crews were able to restore power to the area later in the morning. 

On the Big Island, power had been restored Saturday morning after heavy rain caused about 4,500 customers to lose power, Tangonan said. 

— Blaze Lovell

Flash Flood Warning For Big Island; Most Highways Reopen

8:05 a.m.

A flash flood warning remains in effect for the Big Island until at least 11 a.m., and the Hawaii Police Department reports that due to the heavy rainfall and flash flooding, many roads have sustained damage.

Motorists are advised to be alert for flowing water on roads, debris, water ponding, potholes and shoulder erosion.

All major highways had reopened except two portions of Highway 11.

The following secondary road closures were also in effect:

Akolea Wooden Bridge, Bayfront Highway, Kaiulani Street (Reed’s Island), Kamehameha Avenue (Ponahawai to Manono), Old Mamalahoa (Onomea Bay), Pauahi Street Bridge, Rainbow Drive, South Point Road from Kamaoa Junction to South Point, and Wainuenue Avenue above Akolea Road.

The latest map of road closures can be found here.

— Richard Wiens

Tropical Storm Warning Still In Effect For Oahu, Maui County

Saturday

5:55 a.m.

Tropical Storm Lane was lumbering northwest at 3 mph at 8 a.m. Saturday, but the National Weather Service expects it to turn west later today or tonight and pass south of the islands.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph and was expected to continue weakening. It had packed hurricane-force winds for several days before breaking up Friday afternoon.

“Lane’s outer rain bands will produce excessive rainfall this weekend, which could lead to additional flash flooding and landslides,” the NWS said. “Lane is expected to produce additional rain accumulations of 5 to 10 inches in some areas. Localized storm total amounts well in excess of 40 inches have already been observed along the windward side of the Big Island.”

A flash flood watch remained in effect for Oahu, Maui and Kauai, with a flash flood warning on the Big Island.

The path forecast for Tropical Storm Lane as of 5 a.m. Saturday.

NOAA

A tropical storm warning also remained in effect for Oahu and Maui County, but has been dropped for Hawaii County, which had still been receiving heavy rain Friday night. Kauai is under a tropical storm watch.

Large swells will produce high surf along exposed south and east shorelines today.

The Red Cross said this morning that about 1,100 people were in shelters Friday night, including about 800 on Oahu.

— Richard Wiens

Heavy Rains Continue On Big Island

Friday

9:52 p.m.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency reported numerous road closures due to flooding, landslides, and debris as heavy rain continued on the Big Island on Friday night. Motorists were advised to stay off all roadways due to “extremely dangerous driving conditions.”

Emergency shelters were open at the following locations:

• Keaau High School: 16-725 Keaau-Pahoa Rd, Keaau

• Waiakea High School: 155 W. Kawili St, Hilo

• Hookena Elementary School: 86-4355 Mamalahoa Highway, Captain Cook

• Kamehameha Park Hisaoka Gym: 54-382 Kamehameha Park Road, Kapaau *Pet Friendly

• Kealakehe High School: 74-5000 Puohulihuli Street, Kailua-Kona *Pet Friendly

• Waikoloa Elementary & Middle School: 68-1730 Ho’oko Street, Waikoloa

• Konawaena High School Gym: 81-1043 Konawaena School Road, Kealakekua

In this photo provided by Jessica Henricks, is flooding and damage from Hurricane Lane Friday, Aug. 24, 2018, near Hilo, Hawaii. Hurricane Lane barreled toward Hawaii on Friday, dumping torrential rains that inundated the Big Island's main city as people elsewhere stocked up on supplies and piled sandbags to shield oceanfront businesses against the increasingly violent surf. The city of Hilo, population 43,000, was flooded with waist-high water. (Jessica Henricks via AP)

This photo provided by Jessica Henricks shows flooding and damage from Hurricane Lane on Friday near Hilo.

AP

The following major road closures were in effect as of 8:15 p.m.:

• Highway 11, mile marker 15

• Highway 19, mile marker 6, 14, 15.5, 19 (others likely without notice)

• Highway 130, from Kea’au High School to Hawaiian Paradise Park

• Saddle Road (alternating one lane with pilot car at 10.5 mm)

— Richard Wiens

‘We’re Lucky’

6:15 p.m.

Lane was a persistent, stubborn hurricane. It fought against opposing wind forces and the effects of nearby terrain as it curled around the Hawaiian islands’ southern flank, flooding parts of the Big Island in the process.

But then, within a matter of hours Friday, Lane succumbed to strong shear winds out of the southwest. They collapsed the hurricane’s core, weakening Lane to a tropical storm before it could hit Honolulu.

By 11 p.m., Lane had sustained winds of 65 mph with forward motion of 3 mph, the National Weather Service reported.

“This is the weakening that we’ve been hoping for, and anticipating,” John Bravender, an NWS warning coordination meteorologist, said at a press briefing Friday afternoon.

The Big Island is coping with flooding, and crews are still fighting brush fires on Maui and Oahu, but Lane largely spared Hawaii of the devastation that many feared it would bring.

Surfers enjoy swell at Bowls offshore Honolulu as Hurricane Lane approaches.

Surfers enjoy the swell at Bowls offshore Honolulu as Hurricane Lane approaches.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

“We’re lucky,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said at Friday’s press briefing. Some might question whether the massive mobilization by authorities and residents to prepare for Lane was necessary, but “we didn’t know. And Mother Nature is unpredictable,” Caldwell said.

“Lane got weak and fell apart. Doesn’t mean it’s over. We don’t want to let all our guard down,” he added.

Oahu could still face tropical storm-force winds, heavy rains and flash-flooding overnight Friday from Lane’s remnants, authorities warned. The storm is expected to further downgrade to a tropical depression Saturday, Bravender said.

Large waves pound the beach near Outrigger Hotel as Hurricane Lane passes south of Oahu.

Large waves pound the beach near Outrigger Hotel as Hurricane Lane passes south of Oahu.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hilo and Kawaiihae harbors reopened as of 3 p.m. Friday. Once Lane passes crews will assess Honolulu Harbor and determine whether it’s ready to reopen as well, said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Mike Long, who oversees the port.

The state’s airports never closed. Officials expect Honolulu’s airport to be crowded this weekend from the backlog of cancelled flights.

The 20 emergency shelters opened on Oahu will remain open until 12 p.m. Saturday.

All city parks and the zoo will remain closed Saturday. They’ll reopen Sunday except for Hanauma Bay, Caldwell said.

City bus service is expected to fully resume by 2 p.m. Saturday and be free to passengers for the day. Handi-Van passengers can start making reservations at 8 a.m., and the limited service should start at 2 p.m. Saturday, Caldwell said.

— Marcel Honore

Lane Is Now A Tropical Storm

5 p.m.

Lane has weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm with sustained winds of 70 mph and moving at 3 mph, the National Weather Service announced.

A tropical storm warning is now in effect for Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii County.

“On the forecast track, the center of Lane will pass south of Kauai on Saturday,” the NWS said.

“Tropical storm conditions are still expected in and near rain bands that will affect Oahu, Maui County, and the Big Island tonight into Saturday. Tropical storm conditions are possible on Kauai starting Saturday.

“Excessive rainfall remains possible into the weekend, which could lead to additional flash flooding and landslides. Lane is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 20 inches in some areas. Localized storm total amounts up to 40 inches are possible, mainly on the windward side of the Big Island where over 30 inches of rain has already fallen in some areas.

“Large swells generated by Lane will impact the Hawaiian Islands into the weekend. These swells will produce high surf along exposed south and east shorelines through Saturday.

— Richard Wiens

Hilo, Kawaihae Harbors Reopened

5 p.m.

The United States Coast Guard has reopened Hilo and Kawaihae harbors on the Big Island.

The Coast Guard made the decision after crews assessed the safety of the harbors and the conditions of their facilities, said Amanda Levasseur, a Coast guard spokeswoman.

Other harbors in the state including Kahului, Honolulu, Kalaeloa, Nawiliwili and Port Allen will all remain on condition”Zulu” — which means that ships previously docked in those harbors must stay out at sea.

Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbors Division Deputy Director Darrell Young told Civil Beat on Wednesday that operations may begin again Saturday.

“We’ll assess overnight to see how conditions develop,” Tim Sakahara, a department spokesman, told Civil Beat Friday afternoon.

Crews will be out Saturday morning to assess Kahului and Honolulu harbors. Both are anticipated to open sometime Saturday, Sakahara said.

Honolulu Harbor, a vital line for trade to Hawaii, imported $3.6 billion of goods in 2017.  It’s also a port for tourists.

The Pride of America, a Norwegian Cruise Lines ship capable of carrying 2,500 passengers and crew, is expected to dock in Honolulu Harbor Saturday, according to the transportation department.

— Blaze Lovell

‘What Hurricane?’

3:22 p.m.

“Never knew we had a hurricane, we should probably get ready for that!” said a young man, cheekily, emerging from the water with his friends at Diamond Head Cliffs Friday afternoon.

Carrying boogie boards, the group of four teens were unperturbed by the strong winds whipping around the beach. In fact, it was their third surf stop of the day — they planned to head somewhere else.

“It’s actually really small,” one of them said of the waves.

This was a common refrain at Cliffs — a popular spot for surfers and windsurfers year- round. This, on a day when Hurricane Lane was expected to veer dangerously close to Oahu after wreaking havoc on Big Island and Maui with strong winds and heavy rainfall.

In fact, Bernardo Bengini, on holiday from Florence, Italy, was ready to head out into the water to wind-surf. He said he’s been coming to Hawaii every summer for the last 29 years and no storm was about to stop his routine.

“This is the best place in the world — for me,” he said. “I surfed yesterday morning. It was bigger than this.”

As he prepared to set out, two local surfers came bounding down the hill, surf boards tucked underneath their arms. Alan Kadota and Toshi Hasoya said they could tell the waves would be “overhead,” referring to the size of the swells.

Alan Kadota, left, and Toshi Hosoya were planning to surf at Cliffs on Friday despite the choppy waters.

Suevon Lee/Civil Beat

“This is good, it’s a challenge,” said Kadota. Hosoya said he had “almost drowned” the day before from the size of the waves.

But for some, going out into the water on Friday was a welcome escape from the restless feeling of watching constant hurricane news coverage on the television.

Bernardo Bengini, left, stares out into the water after trying out his windsurf on choppy waters.

Suevon Lee/Civil Beat

 

“I didn’t really expect to go out today,” said Bob Bohn, a windsurfer who was born in Kaneohe and has lived on Oahu his whole life. “I shored up my house and sitting at home watching the news for hours, and finally I just can’t wait any longer, I might as well go and just do something.”

Suevon Lee and Emily Dugdale

Mayor Wants People To Stay Out Of The Water

2:55 p.m.

Lane has been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane. Nonetheless, forecasters say Oahu and Maui Nui could still possibly see hurricane-force winds late Friday.

They expect Lane to drift slowly north for the next 10 hours or so toward those central Hawaii islands before turning to the left. Its maximum sustained winds have dropped to 85 miles per hour, and the storm is now crawling north at about 2 miles per hour, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

“Lane is in the slow lane and it doesn’t want to go away,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said at a press briefing Friday held at the Birkhimer bunker inside the Diamond Head crater.

With the storm’s broad bands soaked with moisture, Caldwell said he hoped Oahu doesn’t see the same intense flooding that the Big Island is already enduring.

Gov. David Ige speaks at the Hurricane Lane briefing at Diamond Head Emergency Operations Center Friday.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Shear winds blowing at some 30 to 40 knots from the southwest are doing what they can to help weaken the storm, said Leigh Anne Eaton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Lane is becoming more asymmetric and elliptical, a sign that the shears are taking their toll, Eaton added. Once it weakens sufficiently, the islands’ normal trade winds are expected to blow the storm safely west.

Meanwhile, Gov. David Ige reported getting a call from with President Donald Trump on Friday. Trump pledged “full support of federal agencies in responding to Hurricane Lane,” according to Ige.

Also at the press briefing, Hawaiian Electric Co. President Alan Oshima looked to dispel rumors on social media that the island is undergoing rolling outages as Lane approaches.

“Rolling outages are caused by generation shortfalls. We do not have generation shortfalls” — even with the lack of sun, Oshima said. HECO is using 500 local contractors to help restore service as needed, he added.

Blaine Miyasato, who co-chairs the Airlines Committee of Hawaii, told reporters he hasn’t seen any price-gouging for fares to get to and from the islands – “none at all” – and that prices were actually lower in the run-up to the storm.

Anyone who does encounter price-gouging should forward details on the vendor, the item and the price to the state’s Office of Consumer Protection or state Attorney General office, Ige said.

Miyasato encouraged anyone without a flight reservation to avoid heading directly to the airport. “It’s just going to add to … the stress,” he said. Instead, travelers should book reservations through the airlines directly.

Caldwell also lamented that too many people are swimming and surfing in the water ahead of the hurricane.  County lifeguards have beefed up their beach patrols around Waikiki using trucks, jet skis and megaphones, he said.

Meanwhile, it turns out that Young Brothers moved its shipping fleet northeast of the islands ahead of Lane instead of southwest as originally expected. That’s because of the track that Lane ultimately took, said Young Brothers Operations Director Mike MacDonald.

Motoring southwest would have put the fleet right in the path of Lane. Had any of those vessels broken down, they would have been in trouble, MacDonald said.

— Marcel Honore

Lane Weakens To Category 1 But Still A Big Threat

2:15 p.m.

Hurricane Lane has weakened considerably, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. Its slowness — a current forward speed of just 2 mph — increases the chance of prolonged flooding.

At 2 p.m., the National Weather Service was still warning of possible hurricane-force winds starting tonight on Oahu and Maui.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for Oahu and Maui County. A tropical storm warning covers the Big Island and a tropical storm watch is in effect for Kauai.

Here is the latest forecast for the hurricane’s path. The cone contains the probably path of the storm’s center but does not show its size. Hazardous conditions can occur outside of the cone:

 

The storm is still northbound, with a turn to the west expected Saturday.

“One should not interpret the forecast westward turn south of the islands as a lower threat to the islands,” the NWS said. “If Lane retains central core convection longer than anticipated, the westward turn would happen later, which could bring hurricane conditions to Maui County or Oahu.”

“Lane will remain dangerously close to the central Hawaiian Islands as a hurricane today into tonight bringing damaging winds to some areas.”

In addition, the NWS said, “the slow movement of Lane greatly increases the threat for prolonged heavy rainfall. This is expected to lead to major flash flooding and landslides in some areas.”

— Richard Wiens

Scrambling At The Farrington Shelter

1:55 p.m.

Honolulu paramedics made their fifth trip to the makeshift emergency shelter inside Farrington High School’s cafeteria before noon Friday.

“We’ve got a situation here,” explained Clark Buck, an American Red Cross volunteer as he led the first responders to a man collapsed on the floor.

More than 100 people spent Thursday night here, the safest place out of Hurricane Lane’s wind and rain and all through the night there were medical emergencies, Buck said. Allergic reactions, chest pains were some of the emergencies. And now there’s a man who fell and appeared to have lost consciousness.

Orlyn Styer, 45 and her boyfriend, Jesse Piluk, 26, are curled up outside Farrington High School. The couple spent Thursday night at the school, bracing for Hurricane Lane.

Terri Langford/Civil Beat

“I can’t say enough about these first responders,” said Buck, a Denver-based volunteer as paramedics quickly transported the man to a nearby hospital.

For Buck, this is his second Red Cross tour of Hawaii. He came to Hilo on the Big Island a few months ago to help with shelters there during the eruption of Kilauea.

At Farrington, on North King Street, 144 people were camped out on the floor or slept outside next to the building by Friday morning.

Curled up in a corner near one of the men’s restrooms were 45-year-old Orlyn Styer and her boyfriend, Jesse Piluk, 26. The couple had been staying in a homeless shelter but chose Farrington to wait out Lane. “They really treat you nice,” Styer said.

Tony Roberts, 62, came to Farrington after spending the night sleeping outside the nearby Kamehameha Shopping Center. “It really wasn’t that bad,” he said. Roberts, who is originally from Chicago, has been living in Hawaii for the past 21 years. For the past three months he’s been homeless. He planned to spend Friday night inside Farrington.

The high school cafeteria is equipped to take in a total of 300 people. But if more people come Friday night, when Lane makes it way towards Oahu,  the high school gymnasium and other parts of the school can be opened, Buck said.

— Terri Langford

Map Shows How Big Island Disrupts Hurricane

As a climate scientist who researches cloud formations, University of Hawaii Professor Jennifer Griswold knows a lot about weather maps. One of the most mesmerizing depictions of Hurricane Lane, Griswold says, is a site called Earth: A Global Map of Wind, Weather, and Ocean Conditions.

The website site called Earth: A Global Map of Wind, Weather, and Ocean Conditions, offers a mesmerizing, animated depiction of Hurricane Lane’s winds.

Earth: A Global Map of Wind, Weather, and Ocean Conditions

Zoom in on the Hawaiian Islands, and there’s an animated visualization of the storm showing the direction and speed of the hurricane’s winds as the Lane charts its path brushing the isles with wind and rain.

The model isn’t just a meteorological equivalent of a Vincent Van Gogh painting. It also depicts something Civil Beat previously quoted the state’s climatologist and Griswold’s UH colleague, Pao-Shin Chu, discussing: how the Big Island peaks of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea block the flow of wind thereby disturb and weaken the storm.

Griswold likened the hurricane to a spinning top and the Big Island to something bumping it.

“Imagine how much faster it could spin if it didn’t get bumped by the Big Island,” she said.

Griswold stressed that hurricanes are enormously complicated and that no single map shows everything. The Earth map shows only winds. There may be other, more important maps for the public to consult, Griswold said, such as the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s chart showing when tropical storm-force winds are expected to hit each island.

“Because it’s so complicated, you have to decide what information you want,” she said.

— Stewart Yerton

Farrington Among State Highways Closed

12:42 p.m.

A brush fire by the Kahe power plant in Nanakuli has closed Farrington highway in both directions.

Honolulu Fire Department Sgt. Scot Seguirant said about 21 personnel were dispatched to fight the fire. State Department of Transportation officials as well as HFD couldn’t give an exact time as to when the road may open.

Brush fire closes Farrington Highway near Kahe Power Plant.

KITV

On the Big Island, Akoni Pule highway remains closed after a landslide blocked lanes at mile marker 25. Saddle Road is down to one lane and only open to guided access.

Highway 19 experienced 14 landslides and is completely closed at multiple points, according to a DOT press release.

Bayfront Highway in Hilo remains flooded.

On Maui, the Lahaina fire that burned more than 300 acres on the Valley Isle’s west coast has closed Kahekili Highway.

There was one injury in the Maui fire near Lahaina earlier Thursday, said Rod Antone, a spokesman for Maui County. A woman was transported by air to Oahu for treatment of burns on her arms and legs. Her identity was not released.

— Blaze Lovell

 

More From The National Weather Service

11:35 a.m.

Here are some additional bits of information from the National Weather Service 11 a.m. advisory:

• Lane continues to struggle against southwesterly shear winds, and the core of the tropical cyclone is getting torn apart by the shear.

• The changes to Lane’s structure make the near-term track forecast very difficult.

Surfers enjoy Hurricane Lane’s swell offshore Honolulu at Bowls surf spot.

A surfer catches Hurricane Lane’s swell offshore of Honolulu at the Ala Moana Bowls surf spot.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

• The reliable track guidance suggests a slow north or north-northeastward drift for the next 12 hours, followed by an abrupt shift toward the west at some point afterward.

• More rapid weakening will commence within 12 to 24 hours.

• If Lane retains its “central core convection” longer than anticipated, the westward turn would happen later. Regardless of whether Lane makes landfall, severe impacts are still possible and the effects can extend far to the north and east of the center of Lane.

• Terrain effects can cause strong acceleration of the wind through gaps and where winds blow downslope. These acceleration areas will shift with time as Lane passes near or over the islands. Winds will also be stronger at the upper floors of high rise buildings.

• The slow movement of Lane greatly increases the threat for prolonged heavy rainfall. This is expected to lead to major flash flooding and landslides in some areas.

• Life-threatening and damaging surf can be expected along exposed shorelines with localized storm surge exacerbating the impacts of a prolonged period of damaging surf.

— Richard Wiens

Hunkered Down in Kahala

1:08 p.m.

I spent the late morning and early afternoon on foot in Kahala and the backside of Diamond Head to see how homeowners are prepping for the storm.

Ready for the storm! A homeowner on Onaha Street in Kahala armored the front door.

It was a humid and sticky walk during which I encountered boarded up windows and doors, sandbags and trees supported with ropes. 

Winds are persistent and growing in force. There are palm fronds and small branches scattered across lawns.

These guests of the Kahala Hotel and Resort didn’t seem fazed by the impending storm.

Brittany Lyte/Civil Beat

Meanwhile at the Kahala Hotel and Resort, guests lounged on the grass and sipped beer as the storm approached. Hotel staff cleared the beach and pool area of lounge chairs, closed the bar and boarded up the towel booth.

— Brittany Lyte

Hurricane Conditions Expected Tonight On Oahu, Maui

11:12 a.m.

Hurricane conditions are expected over portions of Oahu and Maui County starting tonight, according to the latest advisory from the National Weather Service.

Hurricane Lane was still creeping north at 11 a.m., with sustained winds of 105 mph and higher gusts. It had sped back up to 5 mph.

The hurricane watch for Kauai has been changed to a tropical storm watch. Oahu and Maui are still under a hurricane warning, and the Big Island is under a tropical storm warning.

“A turn toward the west is anticipated on Saturday, with an increase in forward speed,” the NWS said. “The center of Lane will remain dangerously close to portions of the central Hawaiian islands later today and tonight.”

Here’s is the latest forecast for the hurricane’s path. The cone contains the probably path of the storm’s center but does not show its size. Hazardous conditions can occur outside of the cone:

The advisory continued:

WIND: Tropical storm conditions are already occurring on the Big Island, Maui County and Oahu. Hurricane conditions are expected over portions of of Maui County and Oahu starting tonight. Tropical storm conditions are possible on Kauai starting Saturday.

RAINFALL: Rain bands from Lane will continue to affect the main Hawaiian Islands with excessive rainfall possible into the weekend. These rains could lead to additional major flash flooding and landslides. Lane is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 20 inches in some areas. Localized storm total amounts up to 40 inches are possible, mainly on the windward side of the Big Island where over 30 inches of rain has already fallen in some areas.

SURF: Very large swells generated by the slow moving hurricane will severely impact the Hawaiian Islands into this weekend. These swells will produce life-threatening and damaging surf along exposed shorelines, particularly today through Saturday. In addition, a prolonged period of extreme surf will also likely lead to significant coastal erosion.

STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and large breaking waves will raise water levels by as much as 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels along south and west facing shores near the center of Lane. The surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

— Richard Wiens

Limited Supplies At Evacuation Center

12:10 p.m.

Around 70 people were hunkered down in the gymnasium at McKinley High School in Honolulu Friday morning, while dozens of others who sought shelter there last night milled about in the cooler air outside or went on last-minute store runs.

Shelter counts change frequently as people come and go, but the Red Cross counted 190 people in the gym at 11 p.m. Thursday, making it the busiest shelter on Oahu.

A large group was bussed over Thursday morning from the Next Step homeless shelter in Kakaako, but individuals trickled in throughout the night, said Ray Moody, a Red Cross volunteer who is the designated shelter manager for McKinley.

Some people brought air mattresses or sleeping mats, but many others slept on sheets or blankets on the floor.

“I’m getting used to sleeping on my back,” said Nancy Merrick, one of the evacuees who came over from the Next Step shelter.

At around 8 p.m. Thursday, a palm tree crashed into a nearby building and set off fire alarms across the campus, Moody said, but otherwise the night was fairly uneventful.

One challenge right now is food. As of Friday, McKinley is a designated evacuation center, Moody said — a key distinction being that an evacuation center does not provide food and supplies. A lot of people did not bring food with them, Moody said.

Francis Gagnon and Jessica Michaud were some of the early residents at a McKinley High School shelter on Thursday.

Natanya Friedheim/Civil Beat

Papa John’s delivered 20 pizzas to the shelter Thursday night — enough for everyone at at the evacuation center to get a slice. Another donation deliver from Dunkin’ Donuts allowed the Red Cross to serve a makeshift breakfast Friday.

“The food delivery was just tremendous,” Moody said.

The Red Cross can distribute donated food from licensed and inspected restaurants, Moody said, but not from individuals.

— Jessica Terrell

 

Parts of Oahu, Maui, Molokai Still Without Power

11:00 a.m.

About 2,500 customers on Oahu have lost power, a Hawaiian Electric Company spokesman told Civil Beat.

That’s up from the 280 reported earlier.

HECO spokesman Peter Rosegg said that most of the outages are around School Street, Manoa and Nanakuli. Crews were dispatched to investigate the problems and restore power to the areas.

Rosegg said that the outages could be due to wind, but it’s hard to tell.

“We’re more concerned with getting power restored,” he said.

Nanakuli has about 1,350 customers without power, while the Kalihi area has about 1,000, according to a statement from HECO.

Two spokespeople with the University of Hawaii confirmed that UH Manoa, the system’s largest campus,  still has power.

Dan Meisenzhal, the university’s communications vice-president, said that Manoa runs on a different transformer than the rest of the valley.

On the neighbor islands, HECO has restored power to nearly 8,000 customers from Maui, Molokai and the Big Island.

Maui still has 4,100 customers without power on its west side. Molokai also has about 1,100 customers that still need power on its west coast.

Rosegg said the Big Island has only about 100 customers without power left. That’s down from 4,500 earlier.

— Blaze Lovell

Gusty Winds In Central Honolulu

10:40 a.m.

In central Honolulu this morning, despite the gusty winds, people were out in the streets strolling and walking their dogs. A downed tree fell on a car near McKinley High School on Kamaile Street between Piikoi and Pensacola streets.

— Jessica Terrell

Airlines Cancel More Flights

10:05 a.m.

More airlines have announced flight cancellations out of Kahului ahead of Hurricane Lane.

American Airlines said in an email to Civil Beat that all their Maui flights have been cancelled. Their other flights in the state, however, remain on schedule.

Kahului Airport

Flickr

United Airlines is also cancelling all flights out of Maui. The airline will also cancel two Tokyo bound flights out of Honolulu.

United added two flights yesterday to San Francisco — one on a Boeing 777, the largest aircraft in the fleet, and another on a smaller 757.

Hawaiian Airlines cancelled one flight out of Maui and their flights today to and from Hilo. They’ve also cancelled a flight from Kona on the Big Island.

The popular tourist route, HA 17 out of Las Vegas, was cancelled due to mechanical issues as was another Hawaiian flight from San Diego.

Ohana, Hawaiian’s turboprop subsidiary, has cancelled all inter-island flights.

— Blaze Lovell

More Than 2,000 Take To Evacuation Zones

9:48 a.m.

WASHINGTON — Hawaii residents are taking advantage of the evacuation centers as Hurricane Lane lumbers toward the islands.

According to Brad Kieserman, of the American Red Cross, more than 1,500 people, mostly on Oahu, had entered evacuation centers overnight.

But over the past three to four hours Kieserman said that number had increased to more than 2,000 and he expects even more by this time tomorrow.

“This is an ongoing incident,” Kieserman said during a conference call with reporters. “I think people on the islands are properly reacting to the threat of the storm.”

In the meantime, officials are keeping a close eye on the Ala Wai Canal in Waikiki. Modeling has shown the possibility for some flooding around the golf course.

Federal officials said the canal is a state waterway and that local officials, including the City and County of Honolulu, will take the lead in notifying residents about flooding in the area so that they can get to higher ground.

There are about 20 shelters located in the area with a total capacity for around 64,000.

— Nick Grube

Waist-High Flooding In Hilo; 6 Rescued

9:13 a.m.

The National Guard and firefighters on the Big Island have rescued six people who were trapped in a flooded home as a hurricane unleashed torrential rain.

Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe says no one was injured during the rescue Thursday night in Hilo, the largest town on the mostly rural island.

It’s still raining on the east side of the island, where crews are busy responding to landslides. Hurricane Lane has dumped as much as 35 inches of rain over 48 hours.

Okabe says there’s waist-high flooding all over Hilo.

This photo provided by Jessica Henricks shows flooding Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, Wailuku River near Hilo, Hawaii. Hurricane Lane brought torrential rains to Hawaii's Big Island and Maui before the storm was expected to hit Oahu. A powerful hurricane unleashed torrents of rain and landslides Thursday that blocked roads on the rural Big Island but didn't scare tourists away from surfing and swimming at popular Honolulu beaches still preparing get pummeled by the erratic storm. (Jessica Henricks via AP)

This photo provided by Jessica Henricks shows flooding Thursday on Wailuku River near Hilo.

AP

Hawaii County Civil Defense spokeswoman Kelly Wooten says it’s too early to tell how devastating the flooding is because it’s still occurring.

Road closures “seem to be changing by the minute.” She says when crews clear a road, landslides block other roads.

— The Associated Press

More Than 100 Residents Evacuated From Brush Fire On Maui

8:52 a.m.

More than 100 residents have evacuated from their Kauaula Valley homes after a Lahaina brush fire broke out overnight.

The fire, which broke out at about 1 a.m., now covers 300 acres according to news reports, forcing closures of roads to area traffic. So far, there are no reports of injuries, according to Rod Antone, spokesman for Maui County.

The Honoapiilani Highway was shut down at Carl’s Junior in Maalaea and Shaw Street in Lahaina.  Motorists should avoid the area, including the Lahaina-bound lanes of the Kahekili Highway, which was also closed to traffic.

— Terri Langford

Category 2 Hurricane Slows To 2 MPH

8:35 a.m.

Hurricane Lane has weakened and hit the brakes, but remains a significant threat.

As of 8 a.m., the National Weather Service said the storm was producing sustained winds of 105 mph but had slowed to a crawl: 2 mph.

“On the latest forecast track, the center of Lane will move dangerously close to portions of the central Hawaiian islands later today and tonight, the NWS said.

The surf is turgid in Waikiki due to the coming storm.

Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

“Some additional weakening is forecast later today and tonight, but Lane is expected to remain a dangerous hurricane as it approaches the islands. Further weakening is expected on Saturday.”

A weather station near Waimea on the Big Island recently reported sustained winds of 45 mph with gusts to 51 mph, the NWS said.

Oahu and Maui County are under hurricane warnings, while the Big Island is under a tropical storm warning and Kauai is under a hurricane watch.

— Richard Wiens

Hawaii Emergency Shelters Housed 1,500 Overnight

8:25 a.m.

More than 1,500 people headed to 36 emergency shelters across the state Thursday night , according to the Red Cross of Hawaii.

Most of those who sought shelter did so on Oahu. Here is a list of the schools acting as emergency shelters across the island.

Officials urged residents to use shelters as a last resort and only if they have no better option to remain safe during the storm.

— Terri Langford

HECO: Over 13,000 Customers Without Power

7:59 a.m.

Power outages have been popping up around the state, and most of them are centered around Maui, the Big Island and Molokai.

Lahaina made up the bulk of statewide residents without power at about 6,000. There’s no timeline to when any of the outages might be fixed.

HECO crews are also working across the Big Island to restore power to about 4,500 of its customers. The outages aren’t coming from any single area; they’re spread all over the island, Rosegg said.

About 2,600 of Molokai’s 7,345 residents are also without power. HECO crews were already on the island, and the company added additional crews and resources in anticipation of Hurricane Lane, Rosegg said.

“We’re moving as fast as we can to figure out what the problem is,” Rosegg said.

Hawaiian Electric workers on Rycroft Street. High Powered electrical lines.

Hawaiian Electric workers on Rycroft Street in June.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

HECO doesn’t know yet what caused the outages.

About 280 Oahu customers are without power, but those are spread across the island and not necessarily in one area. Rosegg calls these pocket outages. Some residents reported on social media that parts of Pacific Palisades in Pearl City and parts of Kaimuki are without power.

“We have these everyday on a routine basis. So, it’s hard to know what the problem is,” Rosegg said. “The storm weather isn’t terrible yet, but it’s not helping.”

Eventually, HECO will need to pull it’s crews from the field to shelter. Rosegg couldn’t put an exact time on when that might happen.

“We’ll go as long as we can without endangering our crews,” Rosegg said. “These guys are brave. They climb poles in the rain. They’ll stay out as long as they can.

— Blaze Lovell

‘Catastrophic Flooding’ Reported On Big Island

5:15 a.m.

The 5 a.m. advisory from the National Weather Service reports “catastrophic flooding” on the Big Island, where up to 30 inches of rain has already fallen on the windward side.

Hurricane Lane had weakened to a Category 2 storm with sustained winds of 110 mph and had slowed to a forward motion of just 5 mph. It was moving north, with a turn to the west expected Saturday, but “the exact time when this will occur remains highly uncertain, and only a small delay in this  … could bring Lane farther north,” the NWS said. “This would produce considerably worse conditions over the islands.”

Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii County are experiencing tropical storm-force winds, with the likelihood of hurricane-force winds to follow.

“Some additional weakening is forecast later today and tonight, but Lane is expected to remain a dangerous hurricane as it approaches the islands,” the NWS said. “Hurricane conditions are expected over some areas of Maui County and Oahu starting tonight. Tropical storm or hurricane conditions are possible on Kauai starting tonight or Saturday.”

Here’s is the latest forecast for the hurricane’s path. The cone contains the probably path of the storm’s center but does not show its size. Hazardous conditions can occur outside of the cone:

The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency issued this statement:

“Flooding on Kaiulani Street on Reeds Island has prompted the voluntary evacuation of residents. Kaiulani Street is closed until further notice. Police and Fire personnel are going house to house informing residents of severe flooding and recommending evacuation. If residents do not evacuate, first responders may not be able to reach them if the situation becomes too hazardous.”

The NWS said, “Lane is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 20 inches, with localized amounts up to 40 inches possible over portions of the Hawaiian Islands.”

“The combination of a dangerous storm surge and large breaking waves will raise water levels by as much as 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels along south and west facing shores near the center of Lane. The surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.”

— Richard Wiens

Torrential Rains Could Put Ala Wai Canal At Risk

5:10 a.m. HST

WASHINGTON — For Oahu, a major concern is the Ala Wai Canal and whether it will overrun its banks. Such an event could cause catastrophic flooding in Waikiki.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received $345 million from Congress to help mitigate the flood risk, but work hasn’t even begun.

Ray Alexander, the chief of Interagency and International Services for the Army Corps of Engineers, noted that “the canal has flooded in the past. I believe it’s safe to say that with the rain forecast it will flood again, the impacts of which we’re not prepared to say at this time.”

During a press conference Friday morning, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said FEMA is still prepared to provide backup generators in case of power outages, but he said that the agency will rely mostly on the Hawaiian Electric Co. to restore power.

“Our mission is designed to backfill their capabilities,” Long said. “We have verified with HECO that they do have strong resources when it comes to equipment and supplies to quickly fix the energy grid.”

But then Long added that it’s important to set “expectations.”

“They’re called disasters because stuff is broken after the fact,” Long said. “Citizens need to realize that we’re looking at major hurricane impacts and things are going to break. We need to set the expectation that the power could go off for quite some time and that the infrastructure is going to be impacted.”

— Nick Grube

Brush Fire On Maui Forces Residents To Evacuate

Friday

3:27 a.m.

A brush fire in the Kauaula Valley forced residents to evacuate the area early Friday, according to Sgt. John K. Sang of the Maui Police Department.

The 1 a.m. fire, fanned by Hurricane Lane winds, quickly spread to about 4 acres, forcing closures of roads to area traffic. There are no reports of injuries.

Sang said the Honoapiilani Highway was shut down at Carl’s Junior in Maalaea and Shaw Street in Lahaina.  Motorists should avoid the area, including the Lahaina-bound lanes of the Kahekili Highway, which was also closed to traffic.

As a result of the fire, the storm shelter at Lahaina Intermediate School has been moved to the Lahaina Civic Center. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

— Terri Langford

Tropical Storm Conditions Arrive

Thursday

11:10 p.m.

The National Weather Service said some parts of Oahu, Maui and the Big Island were experiencing tropical storm conditions at 11 p.m. Thursday as Hurricane Lane continued its approach.

The Category 3 storm still had sustained winds of 120 mph and was moving at 6 mph.

“On the latest forecast track, the center of Lane will move over, or dangerously close to portions of the main Hawaiian islands late Friday,” the NWS said.

Here’s is the latest forecast for the hurricane’s path. The cone contains the probably path of the storm’s center but does not show its size. Hazardous conditions can occur outside of the cone:

— Richard Wiens

Slow-Moving Hurricane Stays On Same Track

8:20 p.m.

Little changed in the 8 p.m. update on Hurricane Lane, still advancing in slow-motion at 6 mph, but also still packing 120-mph winds as a Category 3 storm.

Tropical storm-force winds are still forecast on Oahu by late Thursday into Friday, possibly followed by hurricane-force winds, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

A hurricane warning remained in effect for Oahu and Maui. A hurricane watch was posted for Kauai and a tropical storm warning for the Big Island.

South- and southeast-facing Oahu beaches were churning Thursday as spectators pulled to the side of Kalanianaole Highway to walk past yellow tape and take in the pre-sunset scene at closed beaches.

Sandy Beach was closed, but that didn’t prevent people from gawking at the churning surf Thursday.

Richard Wiens/Civil Beat

— Richard Wiens

Tropical Storm-Force Winds Could Hit Oahu Late Tonight

5:20 p.m.

“Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin on Oahu late tonight, with hurricane conditions expected Friday into Friday night,” the National Weather Service said in its Thursday night advisory. “Tropical storm or hurricane conditions are possible on Kauai on Saturday.”

The 5 p.m. NWS update offered some mild encouragement. The storm has weakened slightly, with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph. It was moving north at 6 mph. Hawaii Island, which has seen torrential rains, was changed to a tropical storm warning.

Oahu and Maui County remains under a hurricane warning, however.

Here is the latest forecast for the hurricane’s path. The cone contains the probably path of the storm’s center but does not show its size. Hazardous conditions can occur outside of the cone.

“Excessive rainfall associated with this slow moving hurricane will continue to impact the Hawaiian Islands into the weekend,” the NWS said. “As Lane is slow-moving, large swells generated by the hurricane will severely impact the Hawaiian Islands over the next couple of days.”

“The combination of a dangerous storm surge and large breaking waves will raise water levels by as much as 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels along south and west facing shores near the center of Lane. The surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.”

— Marcel Honore

Will Shear Winds Break Up Hurricane In Time?

5:10 p.m.

With Hurricane Lane descending on Hawaii, meteorologists are keeping a close watch on how the area’s shear winds high above the surface might affect the Category 3 hurricane.

How quickly those shear winds manage to break apart the top vertical section of the hurricane, as forecasters expect to happen, should determine how far north Lane travels before turning west.

The longer the storm can withstand those shear winds, the closer it gets to the islands, said  Leigh Anne Eaton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“Although we can hope that winds may not be as bad as we had feared, we’re almost certain that we’re going to have too much water in the form of rainfall, surf and surge,” Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Tom Travis told media gathered Thursday at the Birkhimer bunker inside Diamond Head Crater.

As a rule of thumb, officials say, the worst spot to be in a hurricane is its northeast quadrant. Young Brothers, for example, is moving its fleet about 245 miles southwest of Hawaii.

“That’s the strongest quadrant,” Eaton said at the bunker Thursday.

“That is the quadrant that is going to be closest to the island when it’s passing,” she added.

— Marcel Honore

Technically, Pilfering Sand From Beaches Breaks The Rules

5:05 p.m.

People have been coming all day long today to the beach at the bottom of the street where I live  to take sand to make sandbags for storm protection. The beach at Diamond Head is called Kaalawai, but surfers call it “Cromwell’s.”

The Department of Land and Natural Resources says it is against the department’s administrative rules to take sand from Hawaii’s beaches. But DLNR spokesman Dan Dennison in a phone conversation Thursday said the department is not going to crack down on offenders during Hurricane Lane.

Another bag of sand departs the beach as residents try to fend off the coming effects of the hurricane.

Courtesy of Brett Jones

Dennison says DLNR plans to wait until after the storm has passed to meet with other government agencies to see what can be done in the future to prevent random sand grabbing.

“One possibility would be to set up a designated area where people could come to collect sand before major storms.”

Dennison said in his hometown of Gunnison, Colorado, there was a central place where residents were allowed to fill bags with sand for protection during floods or before impending stream risings.

Dennison said DLNR enforcement officers early this morning cited some alleged violators for taking sand from Mokuleia Beach. He did not have details about the amount of sand taken or its intended use.

— Denby Fawcett

Kauai’s Power Grid Has Changed Since Iniki

4:30 p.m.

LIHUE, Kauai — When Hurricane Iniki hit Kauai in 1992, it virtually destroyed the island’s power grid, then owned by a failing private utility company. Eventually, a group of concerned local residents created the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, a nonprofit owned by Kauai residents. It is the state’s only electric company not owned by private investors. 

Many here remember being without power for months after Iniki, and they remember the hundreds of utility poles downed in the storm. But KIUC has worked feverishly for the last 10 years strengthening the grid, adding new transmission and distribution lines and diversifying generating sources. Today, Kauai gets more than half its power from renewable sources, including solar farms and hydro. 

Also since Iniki, the cooperative has built a new conventionally fired generating facility in Kapaia. Generating capacity is more widely dispersed and backup transmission lines have been added to create redundancy that didn’t exist before Iniki.

“Since 1992 we’ve significantly hardened our transmission and distribution system and expect it to be more resilient than during Hurricane Iniki,” said Beth Tokioka, KIUC spokesperson.”We’ve learned much from our experience during Iniki. A number of employees who were working then are still with us.”

— Allan Parachini

The Latest Forecast Of Hurricane’s Path

3:20 p.m.

Oahu, Molokai, Lanai and Kauai are still in the possible path of Hurricane Lane’s center, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. The Category 3 storm had sustained winds of 125 mph and had slowed to 6 mph.

“A slow general northward motion is expected to continue through Friday,” the center said in its Thursday afternoon update. “A turn toward the west is expected Saturday and Sunday, with some increase in forward speed.”

Here is the latest forecast for the hurricane’s path. The cone contains the probably path of the storm’s center but does not show its size. Hazardous conditions can occur outside of the cone.

NOAA

— Richard Wiens

Power Outage In Kalihi Valley

4:00 p.m.

The Hawaiian Electric Company restored power to Kalihi Valley except for the Wilson tunnel.

Power was out from the back of the valley to around Palama, Peter Rosegg, a HECO spokesman, told Civil Beat.

Power was restored within the hour HECO got a report that it was out.

It’s still not yet clear what caused the outage.

One Kalihi resident first contacted Civil Beat and said that Numana Road didn’t have electricity.

It’s not clear if the outage was related to Hurricane Lane.

— Blaze Lovell

Boarded Up

2:50 p.m.

ABC Stores Kalakaua Ave shop boarded in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Lane.

The ABC Store on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki was boarded up Thursday in advance of Hurricane Lane’s arrival.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

— Cory Lum

Hurricane Lane Downgraded To A Category 3 Storm

2:20 p.m.

The National Weather Service says Hurricane Lane has been downgraded to a Category 3 storm.

As of 2 p.m., the storm had sustained winds of 125 mph and was moving north-northwest at 6 mph.

— Associated Press

Oahu Warning Siren To Sound At 4 P.M.

1:55 p.m.

The City and County of Honolulu will activate its island-wide Outdoor Siren Warning System at 4 p.m. today as Hurricane Lane nears Hawaii.

The reason? To alert the public to “the potential of severe flooding” and the possibility of damaging winds.

Warning siren in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

The 4 p.m. siren, which will last three minutes, will coincide with an Emergency Alert System message, which will read as follows:

This is an emergency management message. A hurricane warning is in effect.

Extremely dangerous wind and flooding may occur tonight. Flooding may occur in coastal areas, near streams, and low lying areas.

If your home is threatened, leave the area. The Bus will transport people to shelter and no fare is required. Beaches and beach parks are closed. Leave immediately. Stay tuned to TV, radio, and official social media.

“We want to be sure everyone on Oahu is made fully aware of the threat that Hurricane Lane poses and takes it seriously,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

— Chad Blair

Some Airlines Cancelling Flights

1:30 p.m.

United Airlines cancelled all fights in and out of Maui for Friday and has reduced fares for flights out of the state. The Chicago-based carrier also added two additional flights from Honolulu to San Francisco. United advises checking its site for updates.

Hawaiian Airlines, which operates about 150 flights daily out of Hawaii, had not canceled any flights between Hawaii and other destinations as of Thursday afternoon.

“We don’t have any plans to change our service tomorrow,” Ann Botticelli, a spokeswoman for Hawaiian Airlines.

Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A300-200 is moved to takeoff from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

Hawaiian Airlines at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

But the carrier’s turboprop subsidiary, Ohana by Hawaiian, which flies to Lanai, Molokai and Maui, will have modified schedules. The Lanai flight and one to Kapalua on Maui were canceled for Thursday afternoon, and the airline won’t fly on Friday.

 American Airlines confirmed they have not canceled any flights as of Thursday. Delta Airlines did not immediately respond to inquiries.

Delta, American, United and Hawaiian are all waiving flight change fees for passengers already holding tickets to and from Hawaii. Hawaiian Airlines has extended the time period passengers can change their reservation for travel on Hawaiian and its codeshare partners. Passengers with tickets for travel to, from, within or through Hawaii between Aug. 21 to Aug. 28 can change their flights without a charge because of Hurricane Lane.

— Terri Langford

Operation Snail Bail

1:10 p.m.

On the long to-do list for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources before the arrival of Hurricane Lane was this item: keep native snails from going extinct.

The department’s Hawaii Invertebrate Program maintains captive breeding labs in trailers in Kailua for endangered species of snails and insects. The trailers have back-up generators, but just in case, the snails and other endangered species are being moved to the administration building downtown.

Endangered snails that live in state labs will get special care during Hurricane Lane.

DLNR

That way, they’ll be safe from high winds and any errant trees or limbs. One member of the staff will stay with them to make sure they have what they need, including the occasional spritz of water.

The Hawaiian islands used to be home to more than 750 species of terrestrial snails, but more than 90 percent have been lost to habitat destruction and introduced predators such as rats and other kinds of snails. They are famous for their beautiful shells, and in Hawaiian folklore, are often depicted as being able to sing.

— John Hill

Flooding In Hana

12:35 p.m.

The National Weather Service will maintain a flash flood warning for Hana, Maui until 2:45 p.m. today.

Waiakaloa and Ulaino roads are both closed due to flooding, Maui Police Sgt. John Sang told Civil Beat.

There were landslides on Hana Highway earlier, but those have been cleared, according to the State Department of Transportation. There have been no new reports of landslides on the highway, a department spokesperson said.

There are still low hanging trees over the highway, however, and the department is advising drivers to exercise caution.


— Blaze Lovell

Shelter From The Storm

12:15 p.m.

Seated on a Thrasher Magazine beach towel with two skateboards at their side, Francis Gagnon and Jessica Michaud watched Thursday as 135 homeless people arrived by bus from Next Step, a homeless shelter located down the road, and fanned out across the gym of McKinley High School.

An hour earlier, the gym had opened as a designated hurricane evacuation shelter.

Francis Gagnon and Jessica Michaud are some of the early residents at a McKinley High School shelter.

Natanya Friedheim/Civil Beat

Gagnon and Michaud arrived in Honolulu six days ago from Montreal, Canada. They had planned to skate and sleep in hammocks on the beach and in public parks. Like most tourists, the couple didn’t anticipate the hurricane now barreling toward Hawaii.

“We live the wild life, but safely,” Michaud said.

— Natanya Friedheim

A Little Hurricane Humor To Ease The Anxiety

12:08 p.m.

GIFFs, memes and other internet imagery and text are making the rounds, helping some Hawaii residents find something to laugh about amidst the unease and uncertainty generated by the most powerful storm to threaten Hawaii in more than a generation.

It includes a new Twitter user who goes by the name Hurricane Lane (@lane_hurricane). Here’s a recent tweet:

Then there is this sign that kind of says it all when it comes to weather forecasts:

— Chad Blair

Latest Forecast: Path Shifts Slightly From Earlier Projections

11:19 a.m.

The latest forecast from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center shows tropical force-strength winds are now expected to begin late tonight Friday on Oahu, with hurricane-force winds to possibly follow.

Oahu and eventually Kauai remain within the possible path of the storm’s center, but the projected path has shifted slightly from earlier projections.

Currently, Hurricane Lane’s maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph with higher gusts. Lane remains a powerful Category 4 storm.

“Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Lane is expected to remain a hurricane as it draws closer to the islands,” according to the hurricane center.

A slow northward motion is expected to begin today. A turn toward the west is expected Saturday and Sunday, with an increase in forward speed.

Here’s a look at the projected arrival time of tropical storm-strength winds:

Here’s the latest project path of Lane:

— Richard Wiens

Police: Stay Off The Roads On The Big Island

Update: 11:37 a.m.

Big Island police are still monitoring road closures due to a landslides and are now advising drivers to stay off the roads unless necessary, Hawaii Police Department spokesman Alan Richmond said.

Akoni Pule Road remains closed, but state highway officials are now assessing the flooding and landslides, Richmond said.


One lane remains closed on Highway 19, the road that links Kailua Kona to Hilo, at mile marker 13.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation closed several roads on Maui and Oahu early Thursday morning as the first bands of Hurricane Lane make landfall on the state.

The Pali Highway in the Kailua and Kaneohe bound directions will close 8 p.m. Thursday. The highway will only be reopened after storm conditions alleviate and the road is assessed for rockfalls, the transportation department’s website states.

Left lanes in both directions on the H-3 were also closed from 9 a.m. HDOT and the City and County of Honolulu will be placing their staging equipment in the Tetsuo Harano tunnels. The lanes are expected to open Saturday, according to the department’s website.

Hana highway is down to one lane at mile 16. Trees that fell on other parts of the highway have been cleared.

On Hawaii Island, Bayfront Highway has been closed since early Thursday morning. There are also landslides on Highway 19, the road that links Kailua Kona to Hilo, near Honomu, which is about 12 miles north of Hilo.

HDOT will be posting any updates to road closures on their website, said Shelly Kunishige, a transportation department spokeswoman.

Big Island police have closed Kaalaiki Road just north of Naalehu due to flooding.

— Blaze Lovell

Waikiki Resorts Hunker Down

10:55 a.m.

At the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, staff spent the morning shoveling beach sand into bags to help fortify the hotel building.

Staff members said they expect Waikiki will flood over the next few days as Hurricane Lane barrels through.

Sand bags stacked along the beachfront side of the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort.

Brittany Lyte/Civil Beat

— Brittany Lyte

‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown’

10:09 a.m.

Many Hawaii residents are off today, and the roads have been pretty empty.

All the more reason to be careful when the rains come — it’s already falling heavily on the Big Island and Maui, where warnings are in effect.

Flash flooding and landslides are expected as Hurricane Lane nears, and vehicles can easily spin out of control under such conditions.

The strong advice from FEMA and the NOAA is to steer clear of flooded roads. Better yet, stay home if possible.

The GIFF shows just how much rain may be coming:

— Chad Blair

Trump Signs Disaster Declaration, FEMA Stockpiles Food

9.45 a.m.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed a disaster declaration for the state of Hawaii on Thursday to help with emergency response efforts in anticipating of Hurricane Lane, which is barreling toward the islands.

The declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts as well as mobilize equipment and resources to save lives and protect property.

It was the third declaration Trump has signed for the islands since April, the first two in response to flooding on Kauai and lava flows streaming from the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long during a press conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss the federal government’s preparations for Hurricane Lane.

Nick Grube/Civil Beat

During a press conference Monday, FEMA Administrator Brock Long said the fact that Hawaii has been hit by a series of natural disasters helped prepare his agency for Hurricane Lane.

A near miss by Hurricane Hector early this month also helped the agency deliver additional staff and resources, including food and water, into the islands in preparation for landfall.

Long said those commodities are already in place should Hurricane Lane cause a major damage and disruption.

“We’re taking all the precautions that we can here at FEMA to help our state and local partners in Hawaii,” Long said.

“This is not just going to be over in the next 24 hours. This system is going to be with us for the next four or five days, continuing to bring winds to the islands, continuing to bring large surf as well as the torrential rains that we talked about.”

He said parts of the state should expect over 30 inches of rain, and that his agency is “extremely concerned” about flooding, landslides and damage to transportation and communication infrastructure. 

Generators are available for hospitals and the water system should the electrical grid fail.

Long said his agency has also been working with local grocers to make sure there’s enough food in the islands. 

An initial agency assessment found that there’s between four to five days worth of food in Hawaii at any given time. He said FEMA is backing that up with an additional five to seven days worth of food and water.

— Nick Grube

Honolulu Homeless Shelter Evacuates

After a conference call with city officials and homeless service providers Wednesday afternoon, Jason Espero, the director of homeless services for the nonprofit Waikiki Health, decided to prepare all 135 adults who live in Next Step homeless shelter to evacuate Thursday morning.

“We’re right on the water, literally a stone’s throw away,” Espero said. Next Step is adjacent to Kakaako Waterfront Park in downtown Honolulu.

Waikiki Health is renting four buses from Roberts Hawaii , a local tour company, to take people to McKinley High School at 10 a.m., when the public high school was to become a hurricane evacuation shelter.

Famiy cublicles in foreground at the Next Step Shelter located in Kakaako. 27 may 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Adult singles and couples live in cubicles at the Next Step Shelter located in Kakaako.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Next Step gave each of its homeless clients canned goods, nutrition bars and instant ramen, and will bring a microwave to McKinley so people can cook the ramen. The homeless shelter will be closed Thursday and is scheduled to reopen at noon Saturday.

The nonprofit has evacuated its clients twice before during tsunami warnings, but the tsunamis never came.

A bull horn and a siren rang out in the shelter Wednesday afternoon as the shelter ran a drill to prepare people for the move.

“Our thought process is it’s better to be safe than sorry and it’s easier logistically to transport people during the day rather than getting the wakeup call at 2 a.m.,” Espero said.

— Natanya Friedheim

Lane Continues On Path Toward Islands

8:30 a.m.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center says, as of 8 a.m. Thursday, that Hurricane Lane continues to approach the main Hawaiian islands with “torrential rainfall already occurring in some areas.”

A hurricane warning remains in effect for Oahu, Hawaii and Maui counties. Kauai is under a hurricane watch.

“A turn toward the north-northwest and little change in forward speed is expected today,” the center says. “A turn toward the north is anticipated tonight and Friday, as Lane’s forward motion slows.”

Maximum sustained winds are 130 MPH — which is why Lane remains “a powerful category 4 hurricane.”

— Chad Blair

Torrential Rains On Big Island

Thursday

6 a.m.

Hawaii has begun feeling the effects of Hurricane Lane, as torrential rain was falling on the Big Island on Thursday morning, the National Weather Service reported.

The 5 a.m. update from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center stated:

“Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph with higher gusts. Lane is a powerful category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Steady weakening is forecast during the next couple of days. Lane is expected to remain a hurricane as it draws closer to the islands.”

National Weather Service meteorologist Gavin Shigesato told the Associated Press that rain gauges near Hilo had recorded 12 inches of rain in 12 hours as of 4 a.m. Thursday.

Parts of Maui County are also getting soaked as bands of rain extend 350 miles from the hurricane’s center.

Here’s a look at the expected arrival times of tropical storm-force winds, which could be followed by hurricane-force winds:

— Richard Wiens

Stirring Up Memories Of Iniki

Wednesday

9 p.m.

KILAUEA, Kauai — While hurricane scares in the past few years have differed island-to-island, Kauai has had three or four close calls. What makes it different here is that the Garden Isle experienced the worst hurricane ever recorded in the islands. 

That was the infamous Hurricane Iniki on Sept. 11, 1992. Although it dropped very little rain, Iniki hit the island with winds estimated at 155 mph. Kauai was largely decimated. The tourist industry was, essentially, wiped out for months. Some people were without electricity for three to six months.

Hurricane Iniki hit Kauai hard in 1992.

Wikimedia Commons

On Wednesday, it was clear that concern about Hurricane Lane was more intense and fear-driven than any other storm approach in recent years.

Two firefighters who have served on the Kauai Fire Department for nearly 20 years have always been hurricane barometers. Each time some hurricane came uncomfortably close in recent years, these two men dismissed the danger.

This time, it’s different. “This one worries me,” said one of them, who declined to be identified. “We’ll see, but it’s not looking good right now.”

— Allan Parachini

Oahu Now Under A Hurricane Warning

5:07 p.m.

The National Weather Service issued a hurricane warning for Oahu on Wednesday evening, as it had done earlier for Maui County and the Big Island.

Hurricane Lane was a Category 4 storm as of 5 p.m., with maximum sustained winds near 145 mph.

“Some weakening is forecast during the next few days, but Lane is expected to remain a hurricane as it approaches the islands,” the National Weather Service said in a statement.

“Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin on Oahu late Thursday night, with hurricane conditions expected Friday,” the statement said.

Hurricane-force winds could hit the Big Island on Thursday afternoon or evening, and hit Maui on Thursday night into Friday, the statement said.

— Richard Wiens

Trump Approves Disaster Declaration

4:55 p.m.

Gov. Ige’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the state has been approved.

“Word came late Wednesday afternoon that the governor’s request was granted, as Hurricane Lane approaches the Hawaiian Islands,” the administration said in a press release.

 

The declaration authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide appropriate assistance for emergency measures.

“The approval of the Presidential Disaster Declaration means that Hawaii 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,” Ige said. “We are grateful to the president and FEMA for the swift approval of our request as our state braces for the severe weather ahead.”

— Chad Blair

Zippy’s Announces Temporary Closure

4:34 p.m.

Zippy’s Restaurants says it will begin to temporarily close locations across the state due to Hurricane Lane.

The Kahului location will close at 11:59 p.m. tonight, while the 22 Oahu Zippy’s locations will close at 4 p.m. Thursday.

Zippy’s in Hilo at the Prince Kuhio Plaza will follow the mall’s opening or closing hours.

“The safety of our employees and their families is our foremost concern,” said Paul Yokota, president of Zippy’s Restaurants.

A reopening date and time will be determined when conditions are deemed to be safe.

— Chad Blair

Governor, Delegation Want Presidential Disaster Declaration

4 p.m.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has asked for a Presidential Disaster Declaration as Hurricane Lane nears the Hawaiian Islands.

It asks President Trump to declare the state a major disaster “in the event that there is significant damage and losses as a result of the hurricane,” according to a press release from the administration.

Governor David Ige Hurricane Lane press conference.

Gov. David Ige during Wednesday’s Hurricane Lane press conference.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

“We are expecting large amounts of rain, flooding, and high winds. There will be significant impacts even if the hurricane doesn’t hit us directly,” said Ige.

“FEMA, county and state emergency teams are in place and prepared, so remain calm and keep updated on the storm. Families should be prepared to shelter in place and have 14 days of food, water and supplies.”

Meanwhile, Hawaii’s four members of the U.S. Congress are urging Trump to “act swiftly” on Ige’s request.

The declaration “will help ensure that communities across the state can access important federal funding and resources for emergency services, such as the protection of lives, property, public health, and safety,” said Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono, and Reps. Colleen Hanabusa and Tulsi Gabbard, in a joint statement.

— Chad Blair

Emergency Shopping At Kauai Pot Dispensary

2:50 p.m.

KAPAA, Kauai — The parking lot at Costco, a few miles south of here in Lihue, was as full as a Los Angeles freeway at rush hour. So, for that matter, was the Costco gas station, which spilled cars out of each of its two entrances.

It’s not on most emergency supply lists, but there’s been a run on medical marijuana in advance of the storm.

Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Here in Kapaa, another kind of hurricane supply rush was in progress. At Aloha Green, the island’s only medical marijuana dispensary, employees reported an unusually high number of customers. 

While it wasn’t as crazy as places that, for example, sell toilet paper, Aloha Green was doing a lot of business. During a reporter’s visit, only 1 gram remained of one of its five strains, Animal Cookies. Then a customer came in and bought that and 3.5 grams each of GG4 and Purple Punch.

“It’s just another form of hurricane preparation,” said the manager, who didn’t want to be identified by name. “You board up your house and you run out and buy all the food and supplies, so you’ve got to have something for your mind to get through the storm.”

— Allan Parachini

The Most Recent Tracking

2:27 p.m.

And here is the latest from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, which explains, “Dangerous Hurricane Lane tracking west-northwest to the south of the main Hawaiian Islands.”

— Chad Blair

State Designates Evacuation Shelters

2:15 p.m.

At a news conference today, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced a list of 20 shelters on Oahu that will serve as last-resort safe spaces for residents who live in low-lying flood-prone areas, along exposed ridge lines or in homes constructed prior to 1995.

The shelters are all located at DOE public schools, which are closed Thursday and Friday. The Oahu shelters will open at 10 a.m. Thursday but won’t provide supplies. The DOE schools aren’t constructed to withstand stronger than tropical force winds but still remain a “safer option” than less structurally sound homes.

Maui County has also listed shelter spots here. On Hawaii Island, designated schools include Hookena Elementary, Kamehameha Park Hisaoka Gym, Kealakehe High and Waikoloa Elementary & Middle.

— Suevon Lee

No Party Like A Hurricane Party

2:07 p.m.

Benji Weatherley, a former pro surfer, was recounting stories from some of his friends — another surfer Kelly Slater and musician Jack Johnson just to name a few — while sitting at the bar in his Haleiwa restaurant, Breakers.

Weatherley, 43, was wearing a tie-die shirt and sipping a beer at 11 a.m. Growing up on the North Shore, he’s become acquainted with several famous names like Johnson’s and Slater’s, and when he was 14, he also got to know Iniki. On the eve of another big storm, he may also get acquainted with Lane.

But Weatherley and his staff weren’t too concerned with the Category 4 hurricane inching closer. His bartender wants to offer drink specials on hurricanes (the sweet cocktail, not the storm), and they’ve even set up a sign behind the bar that reads “Aint No Party Like A Hurricane Party.”

A sign at Breakers Bar & Restaurant that captures the feeling in laid-back Haleiwa.

Blaze Lovell/CivilBeat

“We want to ride it out,” Weatherley said. Breakers would need to close if the electricity goes out, but it does have generators to keep its food fresh. But if the power doesn’t go out, the watering hole that’s been open since 2002 will stay open.

Some staff suggested making a big barbecue if people need food. In past storms, Breakers had to revert to serving only beer.

When the false missile alert was sent out in January, Breakers staff tried to corral wandering tourists into their restaurant. They were even ready to turn their giant refrigerator into an impromptu bomb shelter.

Weatherley said he’s stocked up on everything for himself and, except for a giant monkeypod tree outside, isn’t concerned about physical damage to his restaurant.

“I just got that mascot,” Weatherley said, looking at a wooden turtle cutout on the porch. “Long as I pull him in, I’ll be fine.”

— Blaze Lovell

Nursing Homes Ready to Shelter In Place, Evacuate

1:04 p.m.

Near Hawaii Kai, Reid Fukumura and his father, Gary Fukumura were busy Wednesday testing wheelchair restraints in their commercial van in anticipation of moving elderly residents from their two retirement homes. Their family-run Hale Malamalama retirement homes house 45 residents who will likely be moved to a nursing home on higher ground before Hurricane Lane hits.

“As soon as it becomes a warning, we’ll take them to Arcadia (Health Care Center),” said Reid Fukumura, who spent the morning with his father going over their disaster plans. “The feds are becoming more strict about evacuating because of Florida.”

Last year, 14 elderly residents of a nursing home in Florida died during Hurricane Irma after power went out in the facility. Several nursing homes in Texas took on water during Hurricane Harvey and residents were stranded for hours in flooded facilities. Since then, state and federal regulators have stepped up preparation for disasters.

In Wilhelmina Rise, Maunalani Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Executive Director Sai Chantavy was already getting ready to have staff spend the night with their 100 residents beginning Thursday evening. “We have sleeping bags, we have generators, we have snacks,” she said.

There are about 50 nursing homes across Hawaii, part of the nearly 2,000 adult residential facilities that are regulated by the state. About 17 percent of Hawaii’s population is over 65.

— Terri Langford

Honolulu Updates Emergency Plans

12:40 p.m.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell Hurricane Lane press conference at the Fasi Building basement.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell at Wednesday’s press conference.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

From a press conference with Mayor Kirk Caldwell:

• Beginning Thursday and for the next two days, city government offices will shut down unless they are providing essential services. Caldwell says officials will reevaluate whether to re-open on Monday.

• Starting Thursday, the last bus and Handi-Van trips will be at 6 p.m., then no service on a regular basis until the storm passes. Those who need to get to critical appointments, such as medical, can call Handi-Van reservations, and they’ll see whether they can accommodate on case-by-case.

• 20 pet-friendly shelters will open at 10 a.m. Thursday. They will be at public schools. The city will provide evacuation shuttles and  transport to nearby shelters. The on-demand, free buses will be marked “evacuation.” City officials will determine whether they will be stationed depending on how the storm comes in. Pets need to be leashed or in cages to board.

• No garbage collection starting Friday. That is the blue, green and gray bins. Residents should secure those bins after Thursday’s pick-up so they do not get picked up by the wind.

• Ocean Safety Operations Chief Kevin Allen says officials are anticipating really dangerous conditions. Don’t go take a look at it; stay off the beach. Lifeguards won’t be running tower service due to the conditions. They will be mobile, so that means it will take longer to reach a person in trouble. For everyone’s safety, stay out of the water.

— Marcel Honore

Naval Ships Depart Pearl Harbor

12:30 p.m.

U.S. Navy vessels stationed in Hawaii are heading out to sea to avoid Hurricane Lane but will come back if needed to provide relief, officials said Wednesday.

Rear Adm. Brian Fort, commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, announced that ships and submarines based in Hawaii not currently undergoing maintenance have begun to leave port.

“Based on the current track of the storm, we made the decision to begin to sortie the Pearl Harbor-based ships,” Fort said. “This allows the ships enough time to transit safely out of the path of the storm.”

Lt. Commander Nicole Schwegman said the Indo Pacific Command, which oversees the four military branches in the region, is prepared to help out if necessary. “While we have not been asked to assist in any relief efforts as of yet, we are standing by and will assist as requested,” she said.

— Stewart Yerton

Hawaii Public Schools Closed Thursday, Friday

12:16 p.m.

All of Hawaii’s 256 public schools will be closed Thursday and Friday due to threatening conditions posed by Hurricane Lane, the Hawaii Department of Education announced Wednesday.

Schools in Maui County and on Big Island were already ordered closed Wednesday due to the path of the storm; Wednesday’s decision adds schools on Oahu and Kauai.

Central Middle School front lawn. Central Middle School is a historic school building in Honolulu, Hawaii, built on the grounds the former palace of Princess Ruth Keelikōlani of Hawaii.

All Hawaii public schools will be closed Thursday and Friday in anticipation of Hurricane Lane.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

“The safety of our students and staff remains our top priority as we prepare to weather this storm,” said Deputy Superintendent Phyllis Unebasami. “The statewide closures of our campuses and offices will give our school communities time to prepare as the storm is anticipated to make landfall on Oahu Thursday evening, and Kauai on Friday. This will allow the counties to stand up emergency shelters for the public statewide.”

All 36 of the public charter schools in Hawaii will also be closed Thursday and Friday, according to the State Public Charter School Commission.

The DOE said “only essential personnel and disaster responders” were to report to work on Thursday and Friday. The department added that it was working with county emergency management agencies and disaster relief organizations to determine which school campuses would be used as evacuation shelters.

Until noted otherwise, DOE public schools are set to reopen on Monday.

— Suevon Lee

Latest Alerts From National Weather Service

11.30 a.m.

Hurricane warnings remain in effect for the Big Island and Maui County, while hurricane watches are still in place for Oahu and Kauai County. According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Lane is now a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph and is moving WNW at 8 mph.

According to the National Weather Service, “Major Hurricane Lane is passing roughly 280 miles south of the Big Island this morning and has started a turn towards the northwest in line with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecast. The center of Lane will track dangerously close to the Hawaiian Islands from Thursday through Saturday. Regardless of the exact track of the storm center, life threatening impacts are likely over some areas as this strong hurricane makes it’s closest approach. Just a reminder that impacts from a hurricane extend far from the center of the storm and slight changes to the forecast track this close to the islands will produce rapid changes to the local forecast impacts.”

According to the latest forecasts, the major impacts on Oahu are currently predicted for Saturday morning.

— Jim Simon

The Rush Is Still On At Costco

11.30 a.m.

 

President Trump On The Hurricane

11.30 a.m.

The View From Space

11.30 a.m.

 

 

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