Hurricane Lane strengthens to Category 5 as it heads toward Hawaii

Major Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 storm, is heading toward Hawaii, forecasters warn

Hawaiian Islands on alert for possible Hurricane Lane impacts

"There is a 10 percent chance of hurricane-force winds hitting the Big Island".

The US state of Hawaii is bracing for a unsafe category four hurricane which could hit the islands as early as Wednesday evening. Wave heights of 15 to 25 feet are forecast with the largest surf expected along the island's southern and the southeastern coasts.

"It is much too early to confidently determine which, if any, of the main Hawaiian islands will be directly impacted by Lane", the weather service said.

All closures, watches and warnings previously published, below, remain in effect.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for the Big Island and the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe.

In addition, all beach parks ranging from South Point north to Kohala have been shuts off to visitors and current camping permits cancelled. All pavilion and camping permits have been canceled.

Parts of South River Road in the Horseman's Parkway area are closed due to flooding on the roadway. All county offices are scheduled to be open today.

Meteorologists have estimated that some regions of Hawaii could see up to two feet of rain - while warning residents to take the potential threat seriously. "Complete all actions before nightfall", civil defense repeated.

Hurricane Lane grows to category 5 as it heads toward Hawaii
But the agency cautioned, "Lane is forecast to remain a risky hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands". Especially in this high terrain, such rainfall could lead to devastating flash flooding and mudslides.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said shelters have been identified and would be opened if necessary but no mandatory evacuations have been arranged.

Hurricane Lane is now a category 5 storm with maximum sustained winds at 160 miles per hour and moving west-northwest at 9 miles per hour.

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

Paul Akamine fills propane tanks for customers as Hurricane Lane approaches Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S. August 22, 2018. Satellite intensity estimates from PHFO, JTWC, and SAB were unanimous at 6.5, and CIMSS-ADT had 6.3.

The initial motion has slowed a bit and is now 295/7.

Deep tropical moisture associated with Lane will spread across all islands.

While there is still considerable uncertainty in the forecast for Lane, it appears the storm will be passing close enough to the islands on Thursday and Friday to bring significant impacts to the southern portions of the islands, especially along the coastline.

Residents on Kauai who are preparing for Lane vividly remember the destruction caused by Iniki 26 years ago. Life threatening impacts can extend well away from the center of a hurricane.

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