Storm drifts away from Hawaii after 'almost biblical' rains

  • Storm drifts away from Hawaii after 'almost biblical' rains

Storm drifts away from Hawaii after 'almost biblical' rains

On the Big Island of Hawaii, the storm dumped almost four feet of rain which triggered several landslides and forced some residents to flee their homes.

Hilo, the Big Island's largest community, received more than 31 inches (79 cm) of rain from Wednesday through Friday, its largest three-day total since records began in 1949.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center reports that the thunderstorms associated with Tropical Storm Lane "are now far removed from the exposed low-level circulation center", with most of this deep convection affecting the eastern and central Hawaiian Islands in outer rain bands.

But as trade winds finally began to nudge the storm off to the west, away from land, the National Weather Service lifted all remaining tropical storm warnings and watch advisories for the state of Hawaii. Hurricane Lane barreled toward Hawaii on Friday, dumping torrential rains that inundated the Big Island's main city as people elsewhere stocked up on supplies and piled sandbags to shield oceanfront businesses against the increasingly violent surf.

Lane's maximum sustained winds dropped to 85km/h, but lingering moisture from the storm was forecast "will produce excessive rainfall this weekend, which could lead to additional flash flooding and landslides", the latest weather service bulletin said.

"It was nearly biblical proportions", said Kai Kahele, a state senator who represents Hilo.

One of the island's volcanoes is still erupting, and the rain could still cause whiteout conditions on some active lava fields due to steam. The breeze was light. On Saturday, winds were about 11 miles per hour.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Saturday, August 25 said no Filipinos have been reported severely affected by Hurricane Lane that continues to threaten Hawaii.

On the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai, evacuees have returned home from emergency shelters, and those facilities were being closed, local officials reported. But upper-level winds known as shear swiftly tore the storm apart.

One road in Haiku Maui was completely washed out, and wind-whipped brush fires on the west side of the Valley Isle damaged dozens of structure and vehicles. The fire burned nine homes in the historic coastal town of Lahaina and forced 600 people to evacuate. Others have come close in recent years.