Hurricane Lane began a northward swing around the Big Island on Monday while being upgraded to a Category 4 storm.
The storm’s projected path has become reminiscent of the route taken in 1992 by Hurricane Iniki.
“It’s showing a significant swing to the north as it kind of makes its way around the Big Island,” said Talmadge Magno, Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator, on Monday morning. “So we’re concerned that it might bring impacts … .”
As of Monday evening, Lane was about 515 miles southeast of Hilo, packing maximum sustained winds of 130 miles an hour with higher gusts and moving to the west at 14 mph. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the storm’s center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 120 miles.
Little change in strength is expected through early today, with some weakening possible starting late today.
Forecasters at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said residents and visitors on all islands should continue to closely monitor the progress of Lane throughout the week.
A tropical storm watch was issued for southeast and leeward Big Island waters and a high surf advisory was issued for east-facing shores from Ka‘u to Puna.
Magno said those along the affected shorelines should be alert for high and dangerous surf conditions, and boat owners should take measures to secure their vessels.
“We are in hurricane season,” Magno said. “We had a close one over a week ago with Hector. This one’s got us a little more concerned because the forecast is not as precise as Hector. So you should be prepared. Have your family plans and your business plans updated, at least. And we’ll be messaging folks after each National Weather Service forecast to let them know what impacts we’re looking at. So just stay tuned.”
Punaluu and Whittington beach parks are closed and all camping and pavilion permits for those parks are canceled.
Reporter Michael Brestovansky contributed to this story.
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