(HONOLULU) – A once mighty hurricane twisted and drifted away from Hawaii, leaving heavily saturated ground on the Big Island, and relieved many residents on other islands that it was no longer chaotic.
Firefighters on the Big Island rescued 39 people from flooding on Friday to early Saturday when the island hit the nearly 4-foot (1.2 meter) rain from Tropical Storm Lane, formerly Hurricane Lane, over the course of landed on the eastern part of the island for three days. 19659002] In Honolulu, where the storm hit only a few inches of rain, shopkeepers removed plywood from their windows and reopened for business.
The National Weather Service canceled all storm warnings for the state.
Preliminary figures from the Weather Service show that Lane dropped the fourth highest amount of rain for a hurricane to hit the United States since 1
The storm's outer bands as much as 45 inches (114 cm) on the mostly rural Big Island, measurements showed, dumped. The capital of Hilo, 43,000 inhabitants, was flooded on Friday with hip-high water.
"It was almost biblical proportions," said Kai Kahele, a state senator representing Hilo. The floor was wet on Saturday, he said, and it was still raining.
But Hilo is used to raining, he noted. And the Wailuku River, which raged with runoff, has a name that means "destructive water" in Hawaii. Local Hawaiians living in the area for hundreds of years know how dangerous the river can be, said Kahele.
County Civil Defense spokeswoman Kelly Wooten said teams would assess the damage, but continued to focus on rebuilding because of continued rainfall
Big Island Book shoppers in Hilo opened Saturday morning as usual after owner Mary Bicknell had seen a little sunshine.
"Everyone is in a pretty good mood, it's nice," she said of her clients, before adding that everyone "hoped and prayed it was over."
One of the island's volcanoes erupts, and the rain could still cause white spots on some active lava fields causing the molten rock to boil off as steam.
About 200 miles (320 kilometers) and several islands in the northwest, tourists wandered on the island of Oahu Waikiki Beach and leisurely took swimming as shopkeepers ready to reopen.
Hotels began putting beach chairs back next to pools. Dozens of surfers were in the Pacific and wanted to ride small waves. The breeze was light.
The winds were also quieter on Maui, which had seen about 30 inches of rain and gusts of wind up to 50 miles per hour (80 km / h). On Saturday, the winds were about 11 mph (18 km / h). Like the Big Island, Maui experienced floods and landslides.
Lane approached the islands earlier this week as a Category 5 hurricane, meaning that at wind speeds of 157 mph (252 km / h) or more, it would cause catastrophic damage. But high winds, known as shear, quickly tore the storm apart.
When the flood hit the Big Island, the wind swept brush fires that had broken out in the arid areas of Maui and Oahu. Some residents of a shelter on Maui had to flee from the flames, and another fire forced people out of their homes.
Flames burned nine homes in the historic coastal city of Lahaina, forcing 600 people to evacuate, said Lynn Araki-Regan, spokeswoman for Maui County. Some have returned, but many do not because much is lacking in power, Araki-Regan said.
These failures meant that the water company on the west side of Maui could not pump because firefighters needed material to extinguish the remaining flames.
The central Pacific has fewer hurricanes than other regions, with only about four or five named storms a year. Hawaii is rarely hit. The last major storm was Iniki in 1992. Others have come close in recent years.
"It's great that we did not get it," Nick Palumbo II, who owns and owns a surf shop on Lanai Island, said of Lane.
He worried, however, that the near miss would give residents a false sense of security.
"We'll be nailed once, and people will not hear," Palumbo said, "just like" The boy who screamed Wolf.
Associated Press journalists Brian Skoloff and John Locher in Honolulu, Mark Thiessen of Anchorage, Alaska, Darlene Superville of Washington, and Justin Pritchard of Los Angeles contributed to this report.