Hurricane Lane: What travelers to Hawaii need to know

Hawaii-bound visitors should be aware of flash flooding, Hurricane Lane’s projected path and what they need to prepare.
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Hurricane Lane has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it inched its way toward the Maui and Oahu as strong wind shear over the Hawaiian Islands helped weaken the storm. However, flash flooding is still a concern, and Lane is expected to bring plenty of rain with it as it makes its way past the Islands over the weekend. 


As Hurricane Lane continues to climb north toward the state of Hawaii, it’s best to know now, more than ever, what effects a hurricane may have on the Islands, what you can do to prepare for this natural disaster, what closures to look out for and more.

1. Hurricane Lane’s current path

As of August 22, 8 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time, Hurricane Lane, now a category 4 hurricane, was 250 miles south of the Big Island, which is expected to start feeling storm-force winds later this evening of August 22. Lane is predicted to follow it’s northwest path until Thursday, August 23, where it will shift to a more north-northwesterly direction and come closer to Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Oahu. Maui County will begin to feel the effects of Lane early Thursday afternoon, and Oahu may start to experience hurricane-force winds Thursday evening. Unfortunately, Lane is too far out to accurately model its interaction with Kauai. More information can be found at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC).

2. Threats caused by Hurricane Lane

Aside from heavy, hurricane-force winds, expect to see increased rainfall and possible thunderstorms caused by Lane. These conditions, which could result in 10-15 inches in rain, may also lead to flash flooding, and the entire state of Hawaii is currently under a flash flood watch. According to the CPHC’s forecasts, all islands are at risk from the direct and devastating effects of Hurricane Lane’s core, where the winds are strongest. Large surf is also expected to hit all shores of every island, and it is recommended that visitors stay away from the ocean during this time.  

3. Closures across the state of Hawaii

Various parks and properties under the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources will be closing in advance of Hurricane Lane, and you can find out exactly what’s going to be off-limits to the public by checking DLNR’s website or calling them at (808) 587-0400. Other significant closures include Hawaii Island’s Kahuku Unit and the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. TheBus services will cease on Thursday at 6 p.m., and will only continue after the hurricane has passed.

4. Hawaiian Airlines is offering travel waivers

For those departing from, or to, Hawaii, Hawaiian Airlines is offering a reservation change fee waiver. Flights must be scheduled between August 21 to August 26 to be eligible for the waiver, and more information can be found at Hawaiian Airlines’ website.

5. The difference between watches and warnings

The CPHC has issued hurricane watches and warnings across the Hawaiian Islands as Lane approaches. A hurricane watch means that residents and visitors will have up to 48 hours to prepare, while a hurricane warning signifies that there are roughly 36 hours before storm conditions are expected and that hurricane preparation should be a top priority.

6. How to prepare for a hurricane

Above all, water is an absolute necessity. It is recommended that a household has one gallon of water per person per day for at least 14 days. A 14 day supply of non-perishable food is also highly recommended. Flashlights, candles, extra batteries, hand crank radios and cell phones with a battery backup are other important items to have. You can see what else you may want to keep in store here.

7. Where to evacuate and how to get there

Evacuation shelters have opened on all of the major Hawaiian Islands, and the full list can be found on the Red Cross’s website. If you need transportation to one of these shelters, ride-sharing company Uber announced that it would be providing free rides to any Red Cross refuge as long as riders use the promo code STAYSAFEHI.

Categories: Travel Tips