Heads up! If you’re on or traveling to Hawaii soon, you need to know about Hurricane Lane. It is very close to the state and will likely create a lot of rough weather in the days ahead.
Just two weeks ago Hurricane Hector grazed the islands, slightly impacting the Big Island. But now Hurricane Lane is barrelling straight towards the islands. And, in fact, it is the first hurricane in years to directly threaten the Hawaiian Islands. The last time we came close to any real threat was a few years ago when Hurrican Iselle threatened the Big Island. And while it caused some damage, it rapidly weakened as it made landfall. But Lane is different. At this point, it has more in common with Hurricane Iniki, which devastated Kauai and shuttered the Coco Palms back in 1992.
As of 7:00 pm Hawaii Standard Time, the Big Island of Hawaii is under a Hurricane Warning. A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected within the next 36 hours. Meanwhile, Oahu and Maui are under a Hurricane Watch, meaning hurricane conditions are possible within the next 48 hours. Currently, the storm is just under Category 6 status, packing winds of about 160 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend up to 40 miles from the center of the storm with tropical storm-force winds extending up to 140 miles from the center.
The current has the storm turning towards the islands and just grazing each of them. That doesn’t mean, though, that the storm won’t directly impact the islands. It’s still a couple days away from Oahu and Kauai, which are the islands that it may directly impact according to the current track. However, even if the storm doesn’t’ directly impact the islands, it’s close enough to cause severe weather issues. Tropical Storm-force winds are extremely likely for all islands, as are torrential rains.
What to Do
If you’re a visitor already in Hawaii, speak with employees at your hotel. Each hotel has an emergency plan to have guests shelter in place. Plan on not venturing outside during days on which impacts of Hurricane Lane will be felt.
For those staying in vacation rentals, etc. you’ll want to contact the owner for more information. Do also educate yourself on where the nearest hurricane shelter is, just in case. To determine which shelter is closest to you, head on over to the Hawaii Civil Defense website.
Not in Hawaii yet? Contact your airline. Hawaiian Airlines is already waiving changes fees for those that may be impacted by Hurricane Lane. And even if you don’t choose to change your flight, you’ll want to keep an eye out for delays or cancellations.
Trip Delay Insurance
While you’re at it, you’ll probably want to check your credit card benefits too. In the event you do get stranded, it helps to have a credit card with Trip Delay Insurance. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a reimbursement of up to $500 per common carrier ticket. To qualify, you need to purchase at least part of your ticket with the card. The benefit covers the cardholder, their spouse, and children under the age of 22. And, the coverage kicks in after six hours of delay to cover lodging and meals.
Hurricane Lane, Final Thoughts
While Hawaii has long been able to dodge dangerous hurricanes, it looks as if our luck has run out. That’s not to say it’s for sure that Hurricane Lane will hit us, but all data shows that we’ll, at minimum, see some severe weather because of it. For now, though, all we can do is continue to monitor the situation and prepare for the worst. So keep up-to-date on the latest Hurricane Lane news by following along with Hawaii News Now or the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.