Overnight saw Hurricane Lane churn slowly toward Hawaii as 1.4 million people brace for the U.S. Pacific island state’s worst storm in a quarter century.
Hurricane Lane in the early morning hours near Hawaii (Source/ The crew of the @Space_Station)
The storm is moving northwest to the Hawaiian islands at 7 miles per hour with sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, and forecasters say it’s “on course to pass very close” to the islands or make landfall from Thursday through early Saturday.
It could be so disastrous that state officials are asking residents to stockpile food and water for several weeks.
“Be prepared to shelter in place with 14 days of food supplies and water and any other necessities,” Hawaii Gov. David Ige said at a press conference Wednesday.
NOAA: Lane Weakens Slightly While Tracking Towards The Hawaiian Islands
“Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion,” the National Weather Service said. “Life-threatening impacts are likely in some areas as the hurricane makes its closest approach.”
NOAA: Earliest Reasonable Arrival Time of Tropical-Storm-Force Winds
“Lane – classified as a powerful Category 4 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane strength – was expected to hit the Big Island overnight and slam the island of Maui on Thursday,” according to Reuters.
To the north, Oahu was under a hurricane warning while Kauai remained on hurricane watch meaning it could face similar conditions starting Friday morning.
Governor David Ige requested for a President Disaster Declaration for the State of Hawaii on Wednesday. Washington shortly approved it.
Request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the State of Hawai‘i has been approved for #HurricaneLane. Approval📜: https://t.co/qvWQe9rPJ7. We are grateful to the President and FEMA for the swift approval of our request as our state braces for the severe weather ahead. pic.twitter.com/GCcWTEEAQq— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii) August 23, 2018
“I urge our residents and visitors to take this threat seriously and prepare for a significant impact,” the governor said at a news conference in the state capital, Honolulu.
He also announced that all schools, University of Hawaii campuses and non-essential government offices on the islands of Oahu and Kauai would be closed for at least two days starting on Thursday.
Tropical Tid Bits: Global + Hurricane Models
On Thursday morning, Reuters compiled a list of critical events that have transpired in Hawaii in the last 24 hours, as citizens, government, and the military are now preparing for a devastating hit:
The shelves of a downtown Honolulu Walmart were stripped of items ranging from canned tuna to dog food. Shoppers jostled with one another to get the last boxes of ramen noodles.
“There’s nothing in there,” said one shopper leaving the store.
City residents used carts to push cases of bottled water and coolers full of ice, after warnings of possible power outages and evacuations.
Cars waited in long lines at gasoline stations in Honolulu and people could be seen pulling small boats from the water ahead of Lane’s expected storm surge.
“I went to Safeway last night for regular groceries, everyone was in a panic,” said Thao Nguyen, 35, an employee at a Honolulu branch of Hawaiian shirt retailer Roberta Oaks.
“People were buying cases of tiny water bottles.”
U.S. President Donald Trump directed FEMA and administration officials to remain in close coordination with the state, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.
“The president is deeply concerned for the well-being of all Hawaiians,” she said.
U.S. Navy ships and submarines based in Hawaii were instructed to leave port, a common practice as a hurricane approaches to avoid damage.
As of 11 p.m. (0900 GMT Thursday), the storm was centered 235 miles (380 km) south-southwest of Kailua-Kona, the weather service said.
The outer bands of the storm were already dumping 1 to 3 inches an hour of rain on parts of the Big Island as the eastern side of the island was under a flash flood warning, said Gavin Shigesato, a NWS meteorologist said.
The most powerful storm on record to hit Hawaii was Hurricane Iniki, a Category 4 storm that made landfall on Kauai island on Sept. 11, 1992, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It killed six people and damaged or destroyed more than 14,000 homes.
How are people reacting?
Hawaii News Now shows how the Big Island is starting to see “early impacts” of the storm
Another Twitter user complains about price gouging at Safeway
Big waves rolling in onto the beaches
Wind and waves reach Hawaii's Big Island from Hurricane Lane. We're LIVE in Hawaii and in studio with the latest developments. pic.twitter.com/RjIIgN7SrK— AMHQ (@AMHQ) August 23, 2018
Supplies going fast at Walmart in Honolulu
Kona businesses begin preparing for the hurricane
#TrackingLane UPDATE (8/22 at 4:45 PM): Sandbags out & windows boarded up along Aliʻi Dr. as Kona businesses begin preparing for #HurricaneLane’s approach. Skies here are clear but #Lane’s effects are already on the east side https://t.co/pxX18ovu1P @HawaiiNewsNow #HINews #HIwx pic.twitter.com/7VJZQnh6s6— Mileka Lincoln (@MilekaLincoln) August 23, 2018
NASA captures footage of Hurricane Lane from space
“All Costco’s on Oahu are sold out of water,” said one user.
CBS This Morning provides an update earlier this morning from Hawaii. In short, Hurricane Lane could be devastating.
Hurricane Lane, a powerful Category 4 storm, is closing in on Hawaii, packing winds of 145 mph. The storm is expected to get dangerously close to the Big Island and Maui. @CBSMireya reports: https://t.co/UIIXKapCJ9 pic.twitter.com/l14QQXJ5uK— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) August 23, 2018