Hurricane Lane unleashed torrential rain on Hawaii Thursday morning, raising the threat of flash floods and landslides, as the strong Category 4 storm churned north toward the islands.
Forecasters said the slow-moving storm would generate large swells in the coming days that would produce "very large and damaging surf" on shorelines facing west and south, likely triggering "significant coastal erosion".
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected on portions of the Big Island today, with hurricane conditions expected in some areas by tonight.
There is chaos in Hawaii as the islands brace themselves for impact.
Cassidy Penny, a spokeswoman with the American Red Cross, said four people from Arizona and one person from El Paso, Texas, were flying to the state ahead of Hurricane Lane, a category 4 storm that was expected to slam into the islands Thursday.
The eastern side of the island picked up almost 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) of rain in three hours, while there was light rain in other areas, Foster said. They urged those needing to use the Molokai shelter to get there soon because of concerns the main highway could become impassable.
Hurricane Lane, threatening a direct hit as Hawaii's worst storm in a quarter century, on Thursday churned toward Oahu, the island with the largest population, as schools, government offices and business closed and residents stocked up on supplies.
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A hurricane warning is in effect for Hawaii County and Maui County, comprising Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe.
Steve Goldstein of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said at a news conference Thursday that Lane had winds up to 130 miles per hour. They have to make sure they have enough supplies to outlast prolonged power outages and other potential emergencies.
Hurricane winds (74 miles per hour and higher) could hit the Big Island and Maui County on Thursday. Some are anxious the hurricane's winds could push toxic ash from the volcano back toward the Big Island.
There are only a few storms in the Central Pacific.
Federal officials have been working with Hawaiian utility managers to keep a close eye on the power grid, a major vulnerability in Puerto Rico previous year when it was hit by Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm. In fact, in terms of wind speed only one hurricane, 2015's Patricia, even cracks the top ten; all the rest are cyclones in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
The president issued the declaration on Wednesday.
The exact path of the storm is still uncertain, according to CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. Most areas are expected to see 10 to 15 inches while some could get more than 20 inches of rain.
The downpours could lead to landslides and flooding.
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Four months later on June 26, Gillard called Rudd's bluff again at 4pm and was gone in a caucus vote a couple of hours later. Fellow MPs from Mr Dutton's home state of Queensland are also understood to have been encouraged to turn on Mr Turnbull.
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