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The Latest: Hurricane Lane strengthens to a Category 5

August 22, 2018

HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on a hurricane headed toward Hawaii (all times local):

6:50 p.m.

The National Weather Service says Hurricane Lane has strengthened to become a Category 5 hurricane, which means that it is likely to cause catastrophic damage with winds 157 mph or above. The hurricane is about 500 miles (804 kilometers) southeast of Honolulu.

The weather service says that in a Category 5 hurricane, a high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed. Roofs and walls will collapse. The winds will knock down trees and power poles. The weather service adds that power outages will last for weeks to possibly months and most of an area hit by the hurricane will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Earlier Tuesday evening, the weather service issued a hurricane warning for the Big Island.

The weather service also issued a hurricane watch for Maui and other smaller islands, meaning tropical storm-force winds, excessive rain and large swells could arrive starting Wednesday. It’s possible Oahu and Kauai may later be included in an advisory for the hurricane.

Hurricane Lane “is forecast to move dangerously close to the main Hawaiian islands as a hurricane later this week, potentially bringing damaging winds and life-threatening flash flooding from heavy rainfall,” the weather service’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center warned as it got closer to the state.

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5:45 p.m.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige is allowing non-essential state employees on the Big Island and Maui to go on administrative leave from Wednesday to Friday as Hurricane Lane approaches.

The National Weather Service has issued a hurricane warning for the Big Island.

Earlier Tuesday, the weather service issued a hurricane watch for Maui and other smaller islands, meaning tropical storm-force winds, excessive rain and large swells could arrive starting Wednesday. It’s possible Oahu and Kauai may later be included in an advisory for the hurricane packing potential maximum sustained winds of 155 mph.

The governor says employees on Hawaii and Maui islands who work in disaster response as well as in hospitals and prisons are required to report to their jobs.

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5:10 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a hurricane warning for the Big Island.

Earlier Tuesday, the weather service issued a hurricane watch for Maui and other smaller islands, meaning tropical storm-force winds, excessive rain and large swells could arrive starting Wednesday. It’s possible Oahu and Kauai may later be included in an advisory for the hurricane packing potential maximum sustained winds of 155 mph.

Hurricane Lane “is forecast to move dangerously close to the main Hawaiian islands as a hurricane later this week, potentially bringing damaging winds and life-threatening flash flooding from heavy rainfall,” the weather service’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center warned as it got closer to the state.

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4:50 p.m.

Some Hawaii public schools will be closed until further notice as a hurricane heads toward the state.

The state Department of Education says Maui County and Big Island schools will be closed starting Wednesday. All after-school activities statewide are canceled for the rest of the week.

Powerful Hurricane Lane is moving close to Hawaii as residents stock up on essentials such as water and ramen.

The Big Island, Maui and other smaller islands are under a hurricane watch. The weather service says it’s likely additional tropical storm or hurricane watches will be issued later Tuesday.

Lane has been moving west, but it is expected to turn northwest toward the state.

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11:30 a.m.

A powerful hurricane is moving closer to Hawaii as residents stock up on essentials such as water and ramen.

A National Weather Service update Tuesday says Hurricane Lane is Category 4 storm about 400 miles (644 kilometers) southeast of the Big Island and about 575 miles (925 kilometers) from Honolulu.

The Big Island, Maui and other smaller islands are under a hurricane watch. The weather service says it’s likely additional tropical storm or hurricane watches will be issued later Tuesday.

The storm has been moving west but is expected to turn northwest toward the state Wednesday into Thursday. There’s some uncertainty about its path, and residents are bracing for the worst.

Hawaiian Airlines is waiving change fees for tickets to, from, within and through Hawaii from Tuesday through Sunday.

Workers at stores throughout the islands say they’re bracing for an afternoon rush of people getting supplies.

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7:40 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a hurricane watch for parts of Hawaii.

Senior Honolulu forecaster Tom Birchard says the watch for Hurricane Lane has been issued for the island of Hawaii and Maui County, which includes the island of Maui and other smaller islands.

Hurricane conditions could reach those areas within 48 hours. He says it’s possible Oahu and Kauai might eventually be included in a watch.

The hurricane is category 4 with winds to 150 mph (241 kph).

It has been moving west but is expected to turn northwest toward the state.

Birchard says Hawaii residents could be slammed with heavy rain, flash flooding and high surf even if the center doesn’t reach the islands.

Birchard says residents likely will have Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare.

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