Hurricane Lane lashes Hawaii with torrential rains, flash floods

Hawaii Hurricane Lane evacuation

Hurricane Lane's outer bands pummeled the shores of Hawaii's Big Island with torrential rain Thursday morning, resulting in landslides and threatening serious flooding as the Category 4 storm moves closer.

Frank Dias, owner of Scubatech Marine Service prepare a clients 1975 Skipjack Yacht, "Sweet Leilani", out of Kaneohe, Hawaii for the possible impact of Hurricane Lane by doubling the tie downs at the Waikiki Yacht Club at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor in Waikiki on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 in Honolulu, Hi.

The National Weather Service said Lane is expected to make a gradual turn toward the northwest Wednesday, followed by a more northward motion into the islands on Thursday.

But there are now warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures to the east and south of Hawaii, where Hurricane Lane formed and is tracking.

Unusually warm Pacific waters have sustained Lane, and Hawaii Governor David Ige is urging tourists to prepare for the worst.

That storm's slow pace is resulting in flash flooding on the Big Island, where more than a foot of rain has already fallen and as much as 30 inches could be dumped by the time the storm passes.

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

Public schools were closed for the rest of the week and local government workers were told to stay home unless they're essential employees. Kauai and Niihau are under a hurricane watch, meaning hurricane conditions are possible and that winds of at least 39 miles per hour are anticipated in the comings days.

In May, the Big Island's Kilauea volcano erupted, causing earthquakes and sending lava bombs rocketing through the air.

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"It's going to be close, but hope for the best and with luck make sure everybody's ready, and if it doesn't hit us, that's good", Oahu resident Vesega Pili told the station.

You may watch Hurricane Lane tracking and coverage as it streams live from NBC News in the video player below. Due to Hurricane Lane's weakening projections, the "Extreme" and "Very High Risk" totals are most representative of damage potential.

The Category 4 storm may bring 76cms of rain to some areas, making them vulnerable to flash floods and landslides.

President Trump "swiftly approved" it, he said.

Thao Nguyen, 35, who works at a clothes shop in Honolulu, said: "I went to Safeway last night for regular groceries, everyone was in a panic". The last major storm to hit was Iniki in 1992.

President Trump this week signed a Disaster Declaration for the state, pledging to provide federal resources for recovery and catastrophe relief.

Based on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) predictions, Hurricane Lane is expected to continue to weaken as it approaches the islands.

After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico past year, a FEMA report noted that one of its main issues was not having enough generators and other emergency aid on the island before the storm.

On the island of Oahu, which was put on a hurricane warning late Wednesday, shelters were scheduled to open Thursday.

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