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Tropical Storm Lane drifts off Hawaii after "biblical" rains



  Hawaii hurricane
A surfer walks on Waikiki Beach in light rain from the Tropical Storm Lane, Saturday, August 25, 2018, in Honolulu
John Locher / AP


HONOLULU (AP) – A The Once powerful 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 causing havoc.

Firefighters on the Big Island rescued 39 people from flooding Friday to Saturday as the island wrestled with the nearly 4 feet (1.2 meter) of rain dumped by Tropical Storm Lane, formerly Hurricane Lane, on the eastern part of the island Course of three days.

In Honolulu, where the storm dropped only a few inches of rain, shopkeepers removed plywood from their windows and reopened the store.

The National Weather Service suspended all storm warnings for the state.

Preliminary figures from the Weather Service show that Lane dropped the fourth-highest rainfall for a hurricane that landed in the United States since 1950. Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Texas a year ago, topped the list.

James Fujita, left, and Reid Fujita take down plywood slabs to protect their business off Tropical Storm Lane along Waikiki Beach.
John Locher / AP

The Storm The outer bands were drained on the largely rural Big Island up to 114 centimeters, 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 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.

Hawaiian Civil Defense spokeswoman Kelly Wooten said the teams assess the damage but continue to focus on recovery efforts due to continued rainfall.

The calm after the storm

Big Island Book shoppers in Hilo open as normal Saturday morning after owner Mary Bicknell saw a bit of sunshine.

"Everyone is in a 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 can still cause white spots on some active lava fields when it hits the molten rock and boils as steam.

In a light rain from Tropical Storm Lane on Saturday, August 25, 2018, in Honolulu, people look across the ocean along Waikiki Beach
John Locher / AP

[19659005] About 200 miles (320 kilometers ) and several islands in the northwest, tourists on Oahu Island wandered Waikiki Beach taking leisurely swim while shopkeepers were ready to reopen it.

Hotels started to put beach chairs next to swimming pools. Dozens of surfers were in the Pacific and wanted to ride small waves. The breeze was light.

The winds were also calm on Maui, which had seen up to 30 inches of rain and gusts of wind up to 50 km / h (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 the upper winds known as shear tore the storm apart quickly.

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 in 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, Maui District spokeswoman Lynn Araki-Regan said. Some have returned, but many have not because much of the area lacks power, Araki-Regan said.

These failures meant that the water utility on the west side of Maui could not pump, so Maui Electric Utility officials called for conservation – especially important because firefighters need material to extinguish the remaining flames.

The central Pacific has 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," said Nick Palumbo II, who runs and owns a surf shop on Lanai Island, via Lane. He feared, however, that the near miss would give the residents a false sense of security.

"We'll be nailed once, and people will not listen," Palumbo said, "just like" The boy who screamed Wolf. "" ___ Associated Press journalists Brian Skoloff and John Locher in Honolulu; Mark Thiessen in Anchorage, Alaska; Darlene Superville in Washington; and Justin Pritchard of Los Angeles contributed to this report.


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