Hurricane Lane, threatening a direct hit as Hawaii's worst storm in a quarter century, churned toward the main island of Oahu on Thursday as schools, government offices and business closed while residents stocked up on supplies and boarded up homes.
Lane, classified as a powerful Category 4 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane strength, was packing sustained winds of up to 145 miles per hour (230 km/h) and could dump as much as 20 inches of rain over parts of the U.S. Pacific island state, triggering flash flooding and landslides, the National Weather Service (NWS) warned.
Dangerous, hurricane-force winds were expected to hit the Big Island overnight and slam Maui Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service said. To the north, Oahu was under a hurricane warning while Kauai remained on hurricane watch meaning it could face such conditions starting Friday (August 24) morning.
Governor David Ige urged residents to prepare for the worst by setting aside a 14-day supply of water, food and medicines in the event of major damage to roads and infrastructure. He also announced that all public schools, University of Hawaii campuses and non-essential government offices on the islands of Oahu and Kauai would be closed for at least two days starting on Thursday.
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