Hawaii residents brace themselves as hurricane strengthens

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Though the storm is expected to weaken somewhat as it approaches Hawaii, Lane has become one of only two Category 5 hurricanes to come within 350 miles of the state in recorded history, the National Weather Service said.

The hurricane is about 500 miles (804 kilometers) southeast of Honolulu. Roofs and walls will collapse.

A hurricane warning has been issued for Hawaiʻi County as Hurricane Lane continues to move towards the state as a powerful Category 4 storm. The service has warned that power outages will last for weeks to possibly months and most of an area hit by the hurricane will be uninhabitable for weeks or months. But "Lane is forecast to remain a risky hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands", the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, based in Honolulu, said. 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).

Without a direct impact by the center - or near center - of the storm, the islands will still expect tropical storm conditions from the hurricane as it most likely passes south of the island chain.

According to the latest forecast track, Lane is slated to remain a risky hurricane when its center moves very close or over parts of the state Thursday through Saturday.

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A swell generated by Lane could bring very large and rough surf and unsafe rip currents for south- and southeast-facing shores, the weather service said.

In addition, large swells generated by Lane will impact the Hawaiian Islands this week.

This NASA file image obtained August 20, 2018 shows Hurricane Lane when NASAs Aqua satellite passed overhead in mid-August 2018.

Hawaii has been put on alert amid fears a massive hurricane could be about to batter the island, with potential winds of up to 157mph forecast.

The Maui Emergency Management Agency says "As Lane approaches Maui County Islands areas may experience tropical storm conditions with winds 30 miles per hour or greater starting on Thursday Morning".

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The latest forecast model indicates Lane will remain a very strong, and risky storm and will maintain on its current track through tonight, turning further northwest Wednesday.

The long and short of it: It's still too soon to know the impacts, if any, the storm will have on any of the islands.

Ige said that statewide, counties have already started positioning food, water and other supplies to be ready to respond if there is an emergency and shelters must be opened.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell urged residents to be prepared and check on their neighbors, as well.

"If you're in the path of #HurricaneLane, get ready now and make sure your family and neighbors do as well", the Federal Emergency Management Agency tweeted Wednesday.

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