August 22, 2018
Hurricane Lane intensified to a Category 5 on Tuesday night, threatening to become the first landfalling hurricane in Hawaii in nearly three decades.
Hurricane Lane grows to Category 5; Hawaii braces for impact
With maximum sustained winds of 160 mph, Lane was upgraded to the highest level on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale as it surged westerly across the Pacific Ocean toward the Big Island. Unlike Hurricane Hector, which skirted the Hawaiian Islands earlier this month, Lane is projected to veer north-northwest and drench the Aloha State’s most populated areas.
While Lane is likely to weaken as it moves closer to Hawaii, Accuweather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll told USA TODAY that the hurricane will deliver a combination of torrential rainfall, high winds and dangerous surf as early as Wednesday.
“Regardless of what happens in the eye of the hurricane, there’s going to be the potential for a lot of rain – 10-15 inches, perhaps even higher than that,” Doll said. “The problem with that, you get that much rain and you’re going to be seeing damage to property. It’s certainly going to be a threat to lives, as well, especially in areas that are prone to flooding.”

The hurricane’s escalation to Category 5 status motivated the Central Pacific Hurricane Center to issue a Hurricane Warning for Hawaii County, indicating that damaging winds and surf and flooding rains are possible within 36 hours.
“Hurricane Lane is a very serious storm that has the potential to do damage and cause harm,” said Tom Travis, who heads the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.
Also Tuesday, Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed an emergency proclamation to put the state in position to lend support to county emergency responders.
“We encourage all the people across the state to pay attention for this storm. It is different. It's not your typical hurricane that tracks south and goes away,” Ige said.
Indeed, Lane is forecast to turn north-northwest, or toward Honolulu, making it a threat to reach landfall – though in a weaker state.
“We expect it to be a Category 2 hurricane (then),” said Doll. But, he added, “That’s still a dangerous hurricane. Heed local warnings.”
A Category 3 hurricane at its peak, Hector followed a similar path toward Hawaii earlier this month but stayed south of the islands, causing “very little if any impact,” Doll said.
The last hurricane to make landfall in the island state was Iniki, a Category 4 that barreled into the island of Kauai on Sept. 11, 1992, and resulted in more than $3 billion in damages. Six people were killed.
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