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Hurricane Lane, a major Category 4 storm, lashed the Big Island of Hawaii Thursday as it churned through the Pacific.

President Trump declared a state of emergency in Hawaii as islanders prepare for Hurricane Lane's arrival.

The most recent National Weather service map, issued Thursday morning, projected the hurricane brushing past Hawaii Island early Friday morning. However, even if the worst of Hurricane Lane avoids the islands the storm will bring with it enough rain and destructive wind to do serious damage.

"We want to assure you that federal state and county emergency responders are working in coordination to keep the community safe", Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 130 miles per hour, making Lane a powerful category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Landslides blocked parts of Highway 19, a thoroughfare cutting across the island's northern half, according to the state's civil defense agency.

The National Weather Service said Lane - located about 320km south of Hawaii - remained a powerful category four hurricane, packing winds in excess of 209kmh.

Buses around Honolulu have been picking up residents in need and taking them to shelters.

Still, the hardiest of Hawaiian residents are keeping a sense of humor while they wait out the storm's approach...

All of the islands are under weather alerts.

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Oahu island, which includes the capital Honolulu and most of the state's population, is under a hurricane warning, along with Maui County and Hawaii County. Kauai and Niihau are under a hurricane watch, meaning hurricane conditions are possible and that winds of at least 39 miles per hour are anticipated in the coming days.

In May, the Big Island's Kilauea volcano erupted, causing earthquakes and sending lava bombs rocketing through the air. They have to make sure they have enough supplies to outlast power outages and other potential emergencies.

Employees of the Sheraton Waikiki fill sandbags along the beach in preparation for Hurricane Lane on Thursday in Honolulu. The increased evaporation that results is "fuel for hurricanes and other storms", said Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

Surfers were observed taking advantage of the calm before the storm to get out on their boards one last time Wednesday before the ocean got too violent.

Governor Ige also stated that US President Donald Trump approved a request for emergency aid, allowing the region to have access to federal resources for restoration. As of Wednesday, the Big Island as well as Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe are under a hurricane warning.

"We're planning on boarding up all our windows and sliding doors", Napua Puaoi of Wailuku, Maui, said after buying 16 pieces of plywood from Home Depot.

As the outer bands of Hurricane Lane continue approaching the islands, steady and heavy rain could lead to major flash flooding.

"Freshwater flooding will likely be one the major impacts to Hawaii from Lane", Titley said. Storms with a chance of hitting the islands typically form in the warm waters off the coast of Mexico are blown west by the prevailing winds.


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