UPDATE 5 p.m.
WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
* A tropical storm warning is in effect for Hawaii County. A tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions are expected in the area.
* A flash flood watch also remains in effect for Hawaii County, particularly in North and East Hawaii. People should avoid crossing fast-flowing water by vehicle or foot.
* A high surf warning is also in effect for Hawaii Island west-facing shores. People are advised to stay away from the shoreline as surf and current conditions can be very hazardous. The National Weather Service has warned that “anyone entering the water could face death.”
* Lane has been downgraded to a tropical storm, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. Additional weakening is forecast.
* Storm center: 160 miles west of Kailua-Kona.
* Maximum sustained winds: 70 mph. Tropical-storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.
* Forward motion: Northwest at approximately 3 mph.
The National Weather Service advises people to prepare for any changes in future forecasts rather than focus on the forecast track or intensity.
* Forecasters expect tropical storm conditions on Hawaii Island to continue.
* More than 2 feet of rain have already fallen on parts of windward Hawaii Island. Widespread heavy rainfall and flash flooding also continues over parts of the island.
* High surf is likely along Hawaii Island’s west-facing shores. The National Weather Service anticipates surf as high as 10-20 feet along the Kaʻu and Puna coasts and 10-15 feet along the Kona cast through Saturday morning.
* Those waves, combined with storm surge, could raise water levels by 2-4 feet above normal levels along southeast, south, southwest and west facing shores of Hawaii Island should the storm make landfall. Those impacts could cause “significant beach erosion.”
* High winds could have a big impact on western and southern areas of the island, causing potential impacts such as damage to roofing, siding, porches, awnings, carports and sheds.
ORIGINAL POST BELOW:
KAILUA-KONA — Most West Hawaii areas appear to have been spared the brunt of the effects of Hurricane Lane as the now-Category 2 storm tracks north several hundred miles offshore of the Big Island.
As of 11 a.m. Friday, Hurricane Lane was spinning 105 mph winds as it tracked north at 5 mph about 130 miles west-southwest of Kailua-Kona, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu. Tropical storm-force winds extended outward up to 140 miles.
The storm, which was once traveling 15 mph or higher has slowed to 5 mph. Forecasters cautioned that the slow movement of Lane “greatly increases the threat for prolonged heavy rainfall and extreme rainfall totals. This is expected to lead to catastrophic, life-threatening flash flooding and landslides over all Hawaiian Islands.”
Some additional weakening is forecast as the storm encounters 23-35 mph wind shear from the southwest, forecasters said.
Lane is expected to continue heading north through tonight. A turn toward the west if anticipated on Saturday.
“On the latest forecast track, the center of Lane will move dangerously close to portions of the central Hawaiian islands later today and tonight,” forecasters said.
Tropical storm condition are occurring on the Big Island, Maui County and Oahu. Hurricane conditions are forecast for some areas of Maui County and Oahu tonight.
A flash flood watch remains posted through Saturday afternoon.
Through 9 a.m. today, sites in West Hawaii areas reported receiving no more than a half-inch of rain over 24 hours as Hurricane Lane scooted by west of the island.
The highest total was registered at Kahua Ranch, at the 4,000-foot elevation on Kohala Mountain, with 1.92 inches. The only areas reporting more than two-tenths of an inch of rain were Kahuku Ranch above Naalehu in Ka‘u with 0.48 inches, Honaunau with 0.23 inches, Kealakekua with 0.2 inches, Waiaha with 0.22 inches and Pohakuloa Kipuka Alala, on the southwest side of the Pohakuloa Training Area, with 0.42 inches.
“I can’t say that you’re guys are ruled out of this because on our latest graphics for Kailua-Kona, there does look like there could be a possible accumulation of an inch or so of rain by late tonight,” Shigesato said. Life-threatening surf and storm surge also remain a concern.
Current forecast models call for 25-35 mph winds with gusts reaching 55 mph for leeward areas of Hawaii Island from North Kona to about Hawaiian Ocean View Estates. The potential remains for winds to reach up to 57 mph. Rainfall accumulations are expected to be around 3-6 inches although some points could see higher amounts.
Southern and southeastern areas of the island can expect 20-30 mph winds with gusts reaching 45 mph. The potential remains for winds to reach up to 73 mph. Rainfall could total more than 2 feet in areas of Ka‘u.
South Kohala is forecast to see 30-40 mph winds with gusts reaching up to 55 mph. The potential remains for winds to reach up to 57 mph. Two to 4 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts, can be expected.
For areas of North Kohala and Hamakua, forecasters are expecting 25-35 mph winds with gusts to 50 mph. The potential remains for winds to reach up to 57 mph. Some 18-24 inches, with locally higher amounts, could fall as the storm passes.
Interior Big Island areas could see 35-45 mph winds with gusts reaching up to 60 mph. The potential remains for winds to reach up to 57 mph. Two to 4 inches of rain is forecast.
In addition, A high surf warning is also in effect until 6 a.m. Saturday for west-facing shores of Hawaii Island. Wave heights of 10 to 15 feet are forecast along the Kona Coast.
Very large swells generated by the slow-moving hurricane will “severely impact” the islands into the weekend.
“These swells will produce life-threatening and damaging surf along exposed shorelines, particularly today through Saturday. In addition, a prolonged period of extreme surf will also likely lead to significant coastal erosion,” forecasters cautioned.
The combination of a dangerous storm surge and large breaking waves will raise water levels by as much as 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels along south- and west-facing shores near the center of Lane, forecasters cautioned.
Though the surf is up on the west-side, people may want to stay out of the water.
On Friday morning, the state Department of Health Clean Water Branch issued a brown water advisory for the entire state because of runoff from the storm entering coastal waters.
“The public is advised to stay out of flood waters and storm water runoff due to possible overflowing cesspools, sewer, manholes, pesticides, animal fecal matter, dead animals, pathogens, chemicals, and associated flood debris,” the state said. “Not all coastal areas may be impacted by runoff, however, if the water is brown stay out. Continue to practice good personal hygiene and follow-up with your primary care physician if you have any health concerns.”
Where to take shelter, if needed:
As of Thursday night, just over a dozen Hawaii County residents had taken refuge at emergency shelters set up on the Big Island. The following shelters are open:
– Hookena Elementary School, 86-4355 Mamalahoa Highway, Captain Cook
– Waiakea High School: 155 W. Kawili St., Hilo
– Kamehameha Park Hisaoka Gym, 54-382 Kamehameha Park Road, Kapaau *Pet Friendly
– Kealakehe High School, 74-5000 Puohulihuli St., Kailua-Kona *Pet Friendly
– Waikoloa Elementary & Middle School, 68-1730 Hooko St., Waikoloa
– Konawaena High School Gym, 81-1043 Konawaena School Road, Kealakekua
Those who choose to relocate to a shelter should bring a three-day supply of medications and pet food (if applicable).Those who plan to stay overnight should bring personal blankets and pillows if possible.
– The Maunakea Access Road is closed at the Visitor Information Station until further notice.
– Akoni Pule Highway is closed due to a landslide near mile marker 25.5 in North Kohala due to a landslide and down tree.
– One lane is blocked on Highway 19 at mile marker 3.8 north of Hilo. The highway also has debris or landslides at mile markers 6, 11, 14, 19 and 28. The road is closed at mile marker 18.
– Kohala Mountain Road remains closed at mile marker 13.
– Saddle Road above Hilo closed Thursday night due to a landslide. It has since reopened with contraflow. Approximately 2.3 miles of shoulder has been eroded.
– Akolea Wooden Bridge
– Bayfront Highway
– East Kawailani Street from Awapuhi to Nohona Street
– Kaalaiki Road in Ka‘u, just above Naalehu
– Kaiulani Street (Reeds Island)
– Kapuna Street (Ahualoa)
– Kukila Street between Railroad and Pohaku
– Kamehameha Avenue, Ponahawai to Manono
– Laupahoehoe Point Road
– Lehua Street (Honokaa)
– Old Mamalahoa in Honomu (past the gym)
– Pohaku from 39th to 40th in Orchidland Estates
– Pauahi Street Bridge
– Piihonua Wooden Bridge
– Rainbow Drive
– South Point Road from Kamaoa Junction to South Point
– Wainaku Street
– Wainuenue Avenue above Akolea Road
– Waipio Valley Road
– All public schools and DOE offices in Hawaii and Maui counties are closed, according to the state Department of Education. All after-school activities programs are also canceled through the weekend. Schools and offices will reopen Monday unless otherwise noted.
– All public charter schools are closed.
– All Kamehameha Schools campuses, preschools, community education programs and offices statewide will be closed through Sunday. KS will resume operations on Monday.
– Hawaii County officials have closed all beach parks, from South Point to North Kohala, until further notice. All pavilion and camping permits have been canceled. South Point Road, from its junction with Kamaoa Road to South Point, is closed to all traffic.
– All state parks are closed, the Department of Land and Natural Resources said.
– All public libraries are closed. In addition, all library programs statewide scheduled from today to Sunday were canceled.
– State offices are closed.
– All University of Hawaii campuses are closed through Sunday.
– The Kahuku unit of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is closed. All programs are canceled.
– Puukohola Heiau National Historical Site is closed until further notice. Park managers will assess conditions Saturday morning before reopening the park.
– Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park has not reported if it is reopening today.
– Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park has not reported if it is reopening today.