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Hurricane Lane weakens, unleashes flooding as it gets closer to Hawaii

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Staff Writer | August 24, 2018
Hurricane Lane is inundating parts of Hawaii with some serious amounts of rain as it crawls toward the state, and the most powerful winds are expected to whip the central islands Friday night.
Big Island
Weather   The Big Island has been hammered hardest
The Category 2 storm's center - about 180 miles south of Honolulu early Friday - will move dangerously close to the central islands, including Oahu and Maui, on Friday night.

But it's the Big Island that has been hammered hardest by rain. More than 31 inches fell in one spot over the past few days, causing serious flooding, landslides and road closures.

Lane will continue to pose numerous hazards across parts of the islands into the weekend, including hurricane-force winds, storm surges up to 4 feet above normal tides, and 10 to 40 inches of rain, forecasters say.

Hurricane conditions, including winds of at least 74 mph, will start in parts of the Oahu, Maui, Lanai and Molokai islands Friday, the Hurricane Center said.

The storm may weaken Friday and Saturday and no longer appears to be on a track that would bring its powerful center over land. But it still is expected to be remain a dangerous hurricane as it approaches the islands Friday and Saturday, forecasters say.

Lane's approach came as people on Maui dealt with a separate hazard: A brush fire that was forcing evacuations around the resort area of Lahaina.

As the hurricane got closer to Hawaii, Gov. David Ige urged residents to set aside two weeks' worth of food, water and other necessities.

"Lane, while it has been downgraded, is wide and very moist. And it's going to hang around for a while as it moves because it is moving slowly," Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said. "And that is why we are taking so much precaution here."