Hurricane Lane dumps 19 inches of rain on parts of Hawaii

Mark Antolin and his son load sand to fill sand bags into his truck as Hurricane Lane approaches Honolulu Hawaii US Wednesday. Hugh Gentry Reuters

Mark Antolin and his son load sand to fill sand bags into his truck as Hurricane Lane approaches Honolulu Hawaii US Wednesday. Hugh Gentry Reuters

David Ige urged residents Wednesday to prepare weeks' worth of supplies ahead of Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 cyclone that could make landfall in the islands in the coming days. "It's in the closest proximity to Hawaii that a storm of this strength has ever been", said Janice Dean, senior meteorologist for Fox News.

Though the hurricane weakened slightly as it spun across the Pacific Ocean it remained a powerful Category 4 storm, the second-strongest on the 5-step Saffir-Simpson scale of wind intensity, according to the US Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

The storm was in the Pacific about 235 miles south-southwest of the Big Island town of Kailua-Kona early Thursday. Almost 20 inches of rain has already fallen on portions of the Big Island.

Buses in Honolulu have been shuttling residents in need to shelters.

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The hurricane is expected to be the most powerful storm to hit Hawaii since Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

The NWS issued a flash flood warning for Hawaii's Big Island and other hurricane-related warnings and alerts for the rest of the state.

Mark Antolin and his son load sand to fill sand bags into his truck as Hurricane Lane approaches Honolulu, Hawaii, US Wednesday.

Federal officials said they were prepared to help people on the islands. Many survivors still have mental scars from those terrifying days 26 years ago, and as another major hurricane inches closer, those memories are not going away. The storm is the latest in a series of misfortunes for the island chain. Tropical storm force winds have already been reported on parts of the Big Island, measuring between 39 and 73 miles per hour, CNN reported. Government officials have also said they are working to assist Hawaii's homeless population many of whom live in coastal areas which are likely to be affected.

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The storm was expected to turn to the north later Thursday and into Friday, with little change expected in forward speed.

"When people experience large disasters where they lose their home, it's an emotional time", Penny said.

Members of the Alapahoe outrigger canoe club move their canoes off the beach to higher ground as Hurricane Lane approaches Honolulu, Hawaii.

People have been rushing to stores for supplies and are stocking up on canned foods, ramen, water and toilet paper.

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Governor Ige also stated that US President Donald Trump approved a request for emergency aid, allowing the region to have access to federal resources for restoration. "The situation is extremely fluid and we continue to monitor Hurricane Lane's path closely". Most areas are expected to see 10 to 20 inches through Sunday, while some could get more than 30 inches.

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