As Hurricane Lane began to settle in on Hawaiians, Honolulu braced itself by opening emergency shelters, closing beaches and parks, canceling school for the remainder of the week, as well as putting non-essential government workers on leave. Though the National Weather Service has downgraded the storm to a Category 3, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Twitter urged people to prepare for the storm and to remain home if possible. “We do not want people out on the streets as Hurricane Lane approaches,” the mayor said. “We’re using a lot of caution here.” The powerful hurricane unleashed torrents of rain and landslides Thursday that blocked roads on the rural Big Island. As of Friday morning, Lane has already dumped more than 31 inches of rain on Hawaii’s Big Island, bringing catastrophic flooding and the life-threatening flooding could even lead to landslides or mudslides.The center of the hurricane sustained winds of 130 mph was expected to move close to or over portions of the main islands. Rainfall rates in the outer bands of the hurricane may reach 1 to 3 inches per hour, meaning flash flood watches will remain in effect through late on Friday. Lane expected to remain a hurricane for the next 12 to 24 hours but increasing wind shear could weaken the storm more quickly over the next two to three days. The storm is forecast to pull away from Hawaii by late Saturday.
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