Hurricanes are the weather events of nightmares causing everything from power failures, to human catastrophes and even the odd species' transformation. Now, one such giant hurricane is closing in on Hawaii.
Hawaiians have been urged to buckle down with supplies as the island prepares to be hit by Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 cyclone. Hawaii Gov. David Ige urged residents to be as prepared as possible for the hurricane that is expected to make landfall in the coming days.
Ige revealed government offices would be closed Thursday and Friday as the storm approaches. "Just want to remind everyone to prepare to shelter in place 14 days of food and supplies and water," he said at a news conference.
Hurricane brings extreme winds and rainfall
Weather experts say that the hurricane will move past the islands from Thursday to Saturday and its eye may make landfall. However, even if the worst of Hurricane Lane avoids the islands the storm will bring with it enough rain and destructive wind to do serious damage.
More than 20 inches of rain is expected in some locations forecasters said. The storm is expected to move to the west-northwest followed by a harder turn toward the northwest and north-northwest over the next 24 hours.
How soon and where the storm makes its change will determine how much of the eye gets close to the islands and how much potential damage it will cause. "Exactly when this critical turn will happen is very difficult to forecast, so confidence in this portion of the track is unfortunately rather low," The Pacific Hurricane Center said.
Supermarkets cleared out as residents prepare to wait
At 8 p.m. ET, the storm was located about 275 miles south of Kailua-Kona, or 400 miles SSE of Honolulu. Unlike other parts of the US where residents can get in their cars and evacuate, Hawaiians are confined to the islands and so sit waiting for the storm to hit.
Supermarkets are reportedly empty as residents flocked to stock up with enough food. The Hawaiian government has opened shelters in key population areas on Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Lanai, other shelters are ready to open if needed.
Government workers have been asked to stay home unless specifically needed. 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.
Hurricane Irma still haunts much of the U.S
Many in the United States are still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Irma that made landfall roughly a year ago in the northeastern Caribbean and the Florida Keys. The category 5 hurricane caused damage in Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Anguilla, and the Virgin Islands and was responsible for at least 134 deaths.
Hurricane Irma caused so much destruction and death that the World Meteorological Organization retired the name Irma from its rotating naming lists. It will no longer be used to name another Atlantic hurricane and will be replaced with Idalia for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.