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Flooding, landslides as Hurricane Lane bears down on Hawaii

Flooding, landslides as Hurricane Lane bears down on Hawaii”

Heavy rains are pounding Hawaii today, causing widespread flooding on the Big Island, as residents prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 storm that's stronger than any Hawaii has seen in decades. Maximum winds had weakened slightly to 210km/h, the National Weather Service said.

The president ordered federal assistance to aid the state and local response efforts to Hurricane Lane, which strengthened as it approached Hawaii.

And inside grocery stores across the Hawaiian Islands, people are hoarding water, toilet paper and Spam.

Employees of the Sheraton Waikiki fill sandbags along the beach in preparation for Hurricane Lane on Thursday in Honolulu. The same pattern is expected for Oahu.

Hurricane Lane, threatening a direct hit as Hawaii's worst storm in a quarter century, on Thursday churned toward Oahu, the island with the largest population, as schools, government offices and business closed and residents stocked up on supplies.

As Hurricane Lane approaches Hawaii, many airlines are allowing passengers to waive change fees.

"We still are expecting wind, rain, flooding effects that would affect statewide".

United said it has also reduced fares for flights departing out of Hawaii and added two flights out of Honolulu to San Francisco International Airport on Thursday.

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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.

By Thursday morning here, the storm was about 200 miles south-southwest of Kona on the Big Island, carrying winds of 130 mph, according to The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang.

Rain is expected to accumulate to 10 to 20 inches and more than 30 inches in certain areas, the NWS said.

Hurricane-related deaths in Puerto Rico have been estimated at as many as 4,600 people, largely because prolonged and widespread power outages and washed out roads prevented access to health care, according to USA researchers.

Norwegian Cruise Line modified Pride of America's current itinerary to stay clear of Lane, a major hurricane that is forecast to track dangerously close to the Hawaiian Islands from Thursday through Saturday, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

He says the more stationary hurricane increases the threat of flash floods and landslides because of prolonged, increased rainfall.

The most powerful hurricane on record to hit Hawaii was Category 4 Iniki, which made landfall on Kauai island on September 11, 1992, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There are few to no options where those who are still in Hawaii can evacuate to where they can avoid Hurricane Lane's path.

Hawaii residents say they still remember the fury of Hurricane Iniki, which devastated parts of the state in 1992. Officials urged those needing the Molokai shelter to get there soon because of concerns that the main highway on the island's south coast could become impassable.

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