Hawaiians still under threat despite dodging worst of Hurricane Lane

World Today

Kevin Pak empties out hydro barriers, which are used to block water similar to a sandbag, as he helps reopen an ABC store along Waikiki Beach, Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Hurricane Lane has moved out to sea and has been downgraded to a tropical depression. Even so, Hawaiians are still on edge. There’s a risk of flash floods, and that threat could last for days.

CGTN’s Phil Lavelle filed this report from Hawaii’s Big Island, where cleanup is underway.

Hawaii avoided a direct hit from Hurricane Lane, but the storm still caused a lot of damage.

“We were inundated,” local business owner Cynthia Inouye said.

Lane was downgraded from a Category 5 Hurricane, to Tropical Storm, to Tropical Depression as it eventually moved out into the Pacific. Still, more than a meter of rain fell in some areas, flooding homes and businesses.

“There’s a lot of cleaning to do, a lot of workers to deal with. Lots of things that we have to contend with,” Inouye said.

Her gas station is in the city of Hilo, and it’s currently short on customers. Power in the area went out nearly a week ago, and that means no refrigeration.

Food is lost to mold, and product going bad in the tropical heat. Inouye said she’s lost several thousand dollars in product and business. The power may not be back until the water dries up, which may be a while.

Lane taunted Hawaiians for days, and residents were warned to stockpile food. This was a life-threatening concern before Lane headed west near the island of Oahu and weakened.

Storm drains on Hawaii’s Big Island are really working overtime. The frequent flash floods could last for several days. They add to the danger of landslides, and falling rocks have led to road closures and near misses.