Cleanup in Hawaii after Hurricane Lane fizzles

Cleanup in Hawaii after Hurricane Lane fizzles

The weather service said Saturday the storm has turned west, reducing the threat to the state. On Tuesday, August 21, Hurricane Lane strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane, the first since Loke in 2006. Tropical Storm Lane's slow, lingering movement means it will dump more rain in the area, potentially leading to more flooding, CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford said.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says tropical storm Lane had little effect on the eruption of Kilauea volcano on the Big Island. Experts noted minor rockfalls at the summit and increased steaming from two vents.

On the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai, evacuees have returned home from emergency shelters, and those facilities were being closed, local officials reported.

Emergency planners however noted that there were no large-scale power outages, and food and water supplies remained sufficient.

In addition, firefighters need water to put out the remaining flames. A woman got burns on her hands and legs and was flown to Honolulu, Maui County spokesman Rod Antone said.

He says the island got heavy rain overnight which helped douse the flames.

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

Hawaii County Civil Defense spokeswoman Kelly Wooten said teams were assessing damage but continued to focus on recovery efforts because of the ongoing precipitation. By Saturday the water had receded enough that they were able to return home and start cleaning. And highways division crews worked around the clock to clear mudslide after mudslide as trees, boulders and other debris shut down three major highways at one point.

The rainfall eased early Saturday.

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Tropical Storm Lane was downgraded from a hurricane earlier this week and tropical storm warnings were dropped Saturday evening as the storm weakened.

The storm was about 177km south of Honolulu, but the state's most populous city was largely spared from any impacts.

Though the storm was expected to turn west, which would lessen the threat to the islands, federal authorities urged caution. Data from the National Weather Service shows Hilo airport saw 19.95 inches of rainfall over the past 48 hours, while a rain gauge at Waiakea Experimental station outside of Hilo recorded 28.83 inches since Wednesday morning.

By 11 a.m., after a night of wind and rain, swells that usually only reach a foot or two in the summer had grown to as much as 6 feet. Fifty inches of rain were recorded in one day on Kauai. "Tropical storms can be very unsafe and Hawaii is not in the clear".

Another view of Hurricane Lane floodwaters on August 23, 2018 in Hilo, Hawaii.

Hurricane-related deaths in Puerto Rico have been estimated at as many as 4,600 people, largely because prolonged and widespread power outages and washed out roads prevented access to health care, United States researchers said.

Lane is the strongest hurricane to track within 482km of Hawaii, according to NOAA's historical database.

The heavy rain has been responsible for road flooding on the Big Island, including the town of Hilo, and mudslides and landslides have occurred, blocking numerous roads.

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