Hurricane brings rare watches, warnings to Hawaii

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A hurricane warning has been issued for the Big Island, including Hilo, and hurricane watches are in place for Maui and Oahu, including Honolulu.

Though Hurricane Lane is expected to weaken to a category 3 storm by Thursday afternoon, it is still forecasted to remain a risky storm as is draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands. Roofs and walls will collapse.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from Lane's center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area, according to the National Weather Service's (NWS) Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu.

The National Weather Service issued a hurricane warning Tuesday evening for the Big Island (Hawaii island). A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations hard or unsafe.

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"On the forecast track, the center of Lane will move very close to or over the main Hawaiian Islands from Thursday through Saturday", according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

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The storm is now moving westward at 14 miles per hour (22 km/h) and should continue to move west over the next day or so.

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

Hawaii is bracing for Hurricane Lane, which could be the first hurricane to make landfall on the islands in decades. In addition, all library programs statewide scheduled from today to Sunday were canceled.

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Ige granted administrative leave for non-essential state employees in Hawaii and Maui counties, as the state prepares for severe weather conditions resulting from Hurricane Lane.

Even if the centre of Lane doesn't make landfall, the islands could be walloped with rain and wind.

"Hurricane Lane is not a well-behaved hurricane", he said during a press conference.

Computer models mostly do not predict the storm to make a direct hit on the islands, which would be the worst-case scenario.

"At this time, it looks like maybe Puna will be spared", county Managing Director Wil Okabe said of the beleaguered, rural district. "Remember, if the power goes out, ATMs aren't going to be working".

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The counties of Hawaii, Maui, Kalawao, Kauai and the City and County of Honolulu are in danger of experiencing high winds, heavy rains, high surf, storm surges and flooding that threaten to harm communities and cause extensive damage to public and private property across the state.

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