Off The Coast Of Hawaii, Hurricane Lane Dumps Sheets Of Rain
NOEL KING, HOST:
Hurricane Lane is off the coast of Hawaii this morning. The storm is dumping rain on the islands, triggering landslides and flooding. The National Weather Service warns some areas could see up to 30 inches of rain. Now, Lane is a Category 3 hurricane, but its trajectory is uncertain. And even though it has weakened somewhat over the past day, it's expected that the storm will cause considerable damage in the state. NPR's Adrian Florido is in Hawaii. He joins me now. Good morning, Adrian.
ADRIAN FLORIDO, BYLINE: Hi, Noel.
KING: All right. So where are you in Hawaii exactly? And if you look out your window, what are you seeing? Are you seeing the rain?
FLORIDO: I am in Honolulu...
FLORIDO: ...On the island of Oahu. It is - the winds are picking up here as Lane approaches. But not a ton of rain yet.
KING: How have people there been preparing for this hurricane?
FLORIDO: Well, in different ways and, as you might expect, Noel, to varying degrees. Many people have been rushing to grocery stores to stock up on supplies. Some people living close to shorelines have boarded up windows. Earlier today, I was walking along a usually busy street here in Honolulu. But most of the businesses had closed early, and many headlined their storefronts with sandbags. Tourists told me they were going to lock theirselves (ph) in their hotel rooms. At the same time, other folks, locals, have told me that they're not going to do that much - some, not all - either because they have never been that worried or because they're becoming less worried as this storm slowly begins to weaken. Those are folks, Noel, who have places to live. Hawaii also has a very big homeless population. And today, a lot of homeless folks were checking into evacuation shelters. Not all, but many of them.
KING: I want to get back to something you said there because earlier this morning, David spoke with Hawaii's governor, David Ige. And the governor said, you know, yes. The hurricane's been downgraded to a Category 3. But he said, also, the storm has slowed down, and that could mean very severe flooding because it is hanging out, dumping rain.
KING: He didn't want people to let their guard down. Do you get the sense that a lot of people are doing that? Do they know they could be in for a real ride here?
FLORIDO: Yeah. But, you know, there's also this - there's this long history of near misses when it comes to hurricanes in Hawaii. And so a lot of the people I've spoken with have said, you know, they say that we should take it seriously. But this is something that happens pretty often. And then the storm just sort of moves along. And so officials are trying to battle that sentiment and that mindset, but it is - been a bit of a struggle.
KING: All right. And when is the worst supposed to hit? When are you expecting to see the rain in Honolulu?
FLORIDO: The rain in Honolulu is expected sometime in the next couple of hours - late tonight, early Friday morning. You know, some parts of the Big Island - Oahu may have already seen the worst. The hurricane warning has been downgraded to a tropical storm warning on the Big Island of Hawaii. You know, Maui is getting the brunt of it right now. And the storm is on its way toward Oahu, toward Honolulu where I am. And, you know, the wind is picking up. I can hear it outside. And the forecast says that those rains are coming at any hour now.
KING: All right. Well, we hope you stay safe. NPR's Adrian Florido. Thanks so much, Adrian.
FLORIDO: Thank you, Noel.
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