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Hurricane Lane hurtling toward Hawaii

Hurricane Lane hurtling toward Hawaii

The gas lines were long at Costco in Kahului on Tuesday as Hurricane Lane approached the Hawaiian Islands.

Hurricane Lane is poised to give Hawaii an unusually major encounter with a major cyclone - and could batter the Big Island with rain and tropical storm force winds as early as Wednesday night.

That means all University of Hawaiʻi campuses and all non-essential university operations on Hawaiʻi Island, Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānai will be closed until further notice.

The hurricane is about 500 miles (804km) south east of Honolulu, the capital.

"Regardless of what happens in the eye of the hurricane, there's going to be the potential for a lot of rain - 10-15 inches, perhaps even higher than that", Doll said. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations hard or unsafe.

Hurricane Lane has now become a Category 5 hurricane, which means that it is likely to cause catastrophic damage with winds 157 miles per hour or above.

The hurricane was expected to bring 160mph (260km/h) winds to Hawaii's Big Island on Thursday with gusts capable of damaging roofs and knocking out power, the NHC warned.

Navy ships and submarines based in Hawaii not undergoing maintenance have begun to depart Pearl Harbor as Hurricane Lane bears down on the state, Rear Adm. Brian Fort, commander of Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, announced this morning. It declares counties of "Hawai'i, Maui, Kalawao, Kaua'i and the City and County of Honolulu disaster areas for the goal of implementing emergency management functions", his office said.

The most powerful storm on record hitting Hawaii was Hurricane Iniki, a Category 4 that made landfall on Kauai island on September 11, 1992, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The National Weather Service has issued a hurricane watch for parts of Hawaii.

All residents should review preparedness plans and take early precautionary measures at this time.

"Catagory 5 #HurricaneLane is the closest a storm of this strength has been to Hawaii in recorded history".

But the hurricane centre said the storm will move very close to or over the islands from Thursday through Saturday.

Lane continues to be a very impressive hurricane. As Lane will be slow-moving as it nears the islands, prolonged heavy rainfall and life-threatening flash flooding will be possible.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Oahu and Kauai County, including the islands of Kauai and Niihau.

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