LIHUE — People were scrambling in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Lane Monday afternoon.
“I just heard the 11 o’ clock update, and it looks pretty serious,” said Keola Ka‘aihue-Paopao of Anahola. “But we’re ready. Hopefully, it doesn’t come here.”
“I’m ready,” said Laurena Silva, a farmer from Kalaheo. “I have my safe room, and the food is in the safe room. But what are we going to do with the runners? I have more than 40, and we need to peg them. I heard the weather report this morning and started getting ready. It’s always better to be ready and not need anything. My home was impacted by the last hurricane, and when we rebuilt, we put in the safe room.”
County of Kauai officials are monitoring Hurricane Lane as it continues to move west toward the islands.
According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Lane is expected to continue its track towards the state. Weather officials anticipate that Kauai County could feel effects of the storm by late Thursday, but forecast uncertainty remains high for Kauai at this time.
With the possibility of tropical storm force winds and heavy rains impacting Kauai later this week, residents – particularly those in the restricted Wainiha-Ha‘ena area — are urged to stay informed and begin precautionary measures.
“We are very aware of the current challenges regarding access on Kuhio Highway in Wainiha, and the additional concerns of landslides that could occur with the approaching storm system,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. “At this time we are encouraging all people islandwide to start preparing and to stay tuned to further updates.”
Jim Whitfield of the East Kauai Lions Club is already fending off pressure from other Lions.
“They want me to make a decision by Tuesday,” Whitfield said. “We’re supposed to have a big zone social this weekend, and everyone is worried about the rain. It’s still a little too early to talk about the effects of the storm.”
The National Weather Service forecast indicates that regardless of the eventual track and intensity of Lane, an extremely moist and unstable air mass will move over the islands starting from Wednesday, and will remain in place through the end of the week. This is expected to result in very heavy rainfall, potentially leading to flash flooding.
Sandy Swift said she wasn’t that worried because they are scheduled to leave Saturday for a vacation.
“Hopefully, we won’t need any of this,” she said, unloading several containers of water and canned goods. “I wasn’t that worried about the storm, but I guess it’s good to be prepared. These were the last of the gallon containers of water. They still have the smaller bottles, but that’s just too much waste.”
Jackie Malama-Lee of Kekaha was also picking up several cases of water.
“My husband has a doctor’s appointment so I thought I would do some shopping,” Jackie said. “It never hurts to be prepared. I hope we don’t need this.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.