Hawaii's Governor David Ige held a press conference today to provide an update on efforts being taken to help residents and visitors cope with the anticipated effects of Hurricane Lane.
The governor emphasized that everyone should plan for the onset of very strong winds, hazardous surf conditions, torrential rainfall and heavy flooding until the hurricane completes its pass of the Hawaiian Islands this weekend.
Governor Ige urged residents and visitors to shelter in homes and lodging accommodations, respectively, and to have access to a 14-day supply of food and water. Shelters are being opened statewide for those needing to evacuate flood zone areas.
READ MORE: Hawaii on watch as Hurricane Lane approaches main islands
Who will be affected?
Hawaii has approximately 270,000 travellers currently visiting the islands statewide. Governor Ige strongly advised all visitors to be prepared, stay safe and use common sense until Hurricane Lane passes the islands. He said visitors should listen to the safety information and updates provided by airlines, hotels and media and heed their advice.
The governor noted that residents and visitors should stay off the roadways while high winds and rainfall are underway and that no one should attempt to drive across moving water. He noted that certain highways will be closed for public safety. Closures include Maui’s Hana Highway, Oahu’s Pali Highway in the Kailua-bound direction starting Thursday at 8:00 p.m., and Kauai’s Kuhio Highway between Wainiha and Haena on the north shore.
Travellers can find a complete listing of road closures here, from the Hawaii State Department of Transportation Highways Division.
Emergency planning underway
In addition, Governor Ige today formally requested and received approval for a Presidential Disaster Declaration on behalf of the State of Hawaii. The declaration authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide appropriate assistance for emergency measures required to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe.
As of 2:00 p.m. HST, Hurricane Lane was approximately 225 miles south of the island of Hawaii and moving at eight miles per hour in a west-northwesterly track, with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour. The category 4 hurricane is projected to weaken as the massive storm completes its pass south of the Hawaiian Islands.
Hurricane Lane is projected to pass south of the island of Hawaii late tonight and then pass south of, but close to, Maui, Lanai and Molokai starting Thursday afternoon, and Oahu and Kauai sometime Friday lasting through Saturday.
A hurricane warning is in effect for the island of Hawaii, as well as the islands of Maui, Lanai and Molokai, meaning that hurricane conditions should be expected. A hurricane watch is currently in effect for Oahu and Kauai, meaning that hurricane conditions are possible.
Up-to-date online information on the trek of Hurricane Lane is available at the following:
- National Weather Service Forecast: www.weather.gov/hawaii
- Central Pacific Hurricane Center: www.weather.gov/cphc
- Hurricane Preparedness: https://www.facebook.com/PrepareNOWHI/
- Real Time Satellite Image