Federal officials say Hawaii residents shouldn’t let their guard down now that a once-powerful hurricane that threatened the island state has become a tropical storm.
The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator says that although Lane is no longer a hurricane, tropical storms themselves can still be very dangerous.
Brock Long says during a briefing that “Hawaii is not in the clear from Tropical Storm Lane at this point.”
Long says torrential rains will be the largest threat facing Hawaii during the next 48 hours.
Lane churned toward the island chain early this week as the most powerful type of hurricane measured: a Category 5. But upper-level winds tore the storm apart and, by late Friday, the National Weather Service had downgraded Lane to a tropical storm.
6 p.m. Friday
A powerful hurricane that threatened Hawaii for a week is weakening and is now a tropical storm.
But meteorologists are warning heavy rains could still wallop the islands with flash flooding and landslides.
Lane dumped nearly 3 feet of rain on parts of the Big Island of Hawaii over the past two days, forcing residents to flee their flooded homes in waist-high water.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Friday that people need to be vigilant and not let their guard down. But he says the good news is Lane got weak and fell apart.
Upper-level winds known as shear swiftly tore Lane apart south of Honolulu.
The National Weather Service says Lane has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 mph) as it slowly heads west.