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Hawaii residents on alert as Hurricane Lane gathers strength

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At 5:00 AM Wednesday, Lane weakened slightly - becoming a Category 4 storm, and has a maximum sustained winds near 155 miles per hour with higher gusts. Roofs and walls will collapse. While the storm is expected to weaken slightly as it makes its northward move, it will likely still be a powerful hurricane as it approaches the islands.

The most powerful storm on record hitting Hawaii was Hurricane Iniki, a Category 4 that made landfall on Kauai island on September 11, 1992, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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.

Oahu and Maui County, meanwhile, are under a hurricane watch. Slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Lane is forecast to remain a risky hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands.

Hurricane Lane is tracking closer to the Hawaiian isles.

The path for Hurricane Lane will take it close to Honolulu by Friday.

The hurricane threat has forced residents to scramble to stock up on essential items such as water, toilet paper and ramen.

As Lane is expected to be slow-moving as it nears the islands, it will produce large and damaging surf.

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Flooding is another thing to watch as the ocean's swells bombard the coastline prior to and during the storm's passage. Hurricane Lane will impact the islands for the end of the week and into start of the weekend.

Right now, meteorologists are expecting that the storm's center will pass uncomfortably close to the state between today and Saturday (Aug. 25).

In anticipation of the storm, Ige signed an emergency proclamation that declares certain counties of Hawaii disaster areas and allows for the spending of state money for quick and efficient relief for damages, loss and suffering.

"People are getting ready, which is exactly what we want", Maui County spokesman Rod Antone said.

Hawaii's Big Island is still reeling from a three-month eruption of Kilauea volcano. It is too early to predict which, if any, of the islands are directly impacted.

State and County Emergency Management Agency officials are urging residents to stay up-to-date and prepare for Hurricane Lane.

American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines issued travel advisories to customers flying to or from Hawaii.

He reminded people to have emergency kits ready and to "withdraw cash. Once the storm has passed and it is safe for our crews to begin restoration, we will work as quickly and safely as possible to restore power".

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