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Home / US / The storm is drifting off "almost biblical" rains from Hawaii

The storm is drifting off "almost biblical" rains from Hawaii



A once mighty hurricane twisted and drifted away from Hawaii, leaving heavily saturated ground on the Big Island, and many residents on other islands relieved it was no longer chaotic.

Firefighters on the Big Island rescued 39 people from flooding Friday through Saturday as the island covered the almost 4 foot (1.2 meter) rainfall of Tropical Storm Lane, formerly Hurricane Lane, over three days on the eastern Part of the island was unloaded.

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 1950. Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Texas a year ago, topped the list.

Th The outer bands of the storm tipped up to 114 inches on the mostly rural Big Island, as measurements showed. 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 who represents 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 Buyers" in Hilo opened as usual on Saturday morning after owner Mary Bicknell had seen a little sunshine.

"Everyone is in a good mood, it's nice," she said of her clients before she added, "I hope and pray it's over."

One of the island's volcanoes erupts, and the rain can still cause white spots on some active lava fields when it hits the molten rock and boils as steam.

Approximately 200 miles (320 kilometers) and several islands to the northwest, tourists wandered Waikiki Beach on Oahu Island, swimming leisurely as shopkeepers were ready to reopen.

The hotels began to put beach chairs next to their 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 approximately 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 Great 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, district spokeswoman Lynn Araki-Regan said. Some have returned, but many do not because much is lacking in power, Araki-Regan said.

These failures meant that the water provider on the west side of Maui could not pump important because firefighters need supply to clear residual flames.

The Central Pacific receives fewer hurricanes than other regions with only about four or five named storms per year. Hawaii is rarely hit. The last major storm was Iniki in 1992. Others have been 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.

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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.


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