Hawaii Prepares for Hurricane Lane

Hurricane Lanes path takes it northwest toward the Hawaiian Islands over the next couple days

ABC News Hurricane Lane's path takes it northwest toward the Hawaiian Islands over the next couple days

In Kona, on the Big Island, it cautioned that at least 4 to 8 inches of rain could fall and that winds could exceed tropical-storm force (39 mph).

The central Pacific gets fewer hurricanes than other regions, with about only four or five named storms a year.

The hurricane was expected to bring 160mph (260km/h) winds to Hawaii's Big Island on Thursday with gusts capable of damaging roofs and knocking out power, the NHC warned.

The hurricane was moving at 15 km/h, said meteorologist Melissa Nye.

While Lane's strength is expected to weaken slightly upon its approach to the Hawaiian islands, it was still expected to remain a unsafe hurricane.

'Latest forecast models indicate that, regardless of the eventual track and intensity of Lane, an extremely moist air mass will move over the islands beginning around Wednesday, and then persist through the end of the week, ' forecasters said.

Hawaii residents have rushed to stores to stock up on bottled water, ramen, toilet paper and other supplies as they faced the threat of heavy rain, flash flooding and high surf. "The last: Hurricane John in 1994".

Kauai resident Mike Miranda was 12 when Hurricane Iniki devastated the island.

Hurricane Watches have been issued for Hawaii and Maui counties, in the eastern part of the islands.

Spinning in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the hurricane has grown into a monstrous Category 5 storm, the most powerful type of hurricane with winds now reaching 160 miles per hour. Iselle was a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour before weakening into a tropical storm at landfall.

Forecasters warned of large swells that could produce risky surf and strong currents along some shorelines, beginning Wednesday on the Big Island.

Hurricane Lane is poised to give Hawaii an unusually major encounter with a major cyclone - and could batter the Big Island with rain and tropical storm force winds as early as Wednesday night.

Given the multiple hazards posed by the storm and the island chain's vulnerability, emergency management and local officials have pleaded with residents to prepare.

A hurricane warning has been issued for Hawaiʻi and Maui Counties as Hurricane Lane continues to move towards the state as a powerful Category 4 storm.

Lane could become the first hurricane to directly make landfall in Honolulu since Hawaii became a state, Axios reported. It declares counties of "Hawai'i, Maui, Kalawao, Kaua'i and the City and County of Honolulu disaster areas for the objective of implementing emergency management functions", his office said.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed an emergency proclamation Tuesday to put the state in position to lend support to county emergency responders.

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