Five tourists are rescued from their flooded holiday home in Hawaii as Hurricane Lane dumps 31 INCHES of rain on the Big Island, while residents on the main islands brace for 120mph winds and more downpours

Friday, August 24, 2018
By Paul Martin

Suzanne Demerais and four friends were visiting Hilo on the Big Island when Hurricane Lane hit Thursday
A gulch near the vacation villa they were renting rose rapidly in just 24 hours, flooding the home
Hurricane Lane was downgraded to a Category 3 storm but officials have warned it remains highly dangerous
‘Excessive rain’ will likely continue over the weekend and hurricane warnings remain in most of the island
Lane’s center was last recorded around 200 miles south of Honolulu, with winds clocking in at 125 mph
Airlines have been waiving fees, capping fares and tweaking flight schedules through Monday

24 August 2018

Five tourists have been rescued from a flooded holiday home in Hawaii as Hurricane Lane turns north after dumping 31 inches of rain on the Big Island in a matter of hours.

Emergency crews helped the California vacationers from a villa they were renting in the picturesque town of Hilo after a nearby gulch spilled over on Thursday.

Suzanne Demerais described the tiny waterfall and small stream that was flowing near the home when she and four friends from the Los Angeles first arrived – a stark contrast from the torrent it has become in just 24 hours.

Hawaii County firefighters, who were in touch with the home’s owner, decided to evacuate the group before the water rose further, floating the visitors out on their backs.

Forecasters have warned the storm will dump rain at a rate of one to three inches per hour over portions of Hawaii’s main islands late on Friday as it crawls northward.

Popular tourist destinations Maui and Oahu, the state’s most populated island, are preparing for the thick of the storm to pass over this weekend, bringing potentially catastrophic flash flooding and dangerous 20-foot-high surf.

Despite having been downgraded to a Category 3 storm on Thursday, experts warn Lane has the potential to become the single-costliest hurricane in Hawaii’s recorded history – as well as the costliest in all of the US for the 2018 hurricane season, which runs from June to November.

‘Lane could potentially cause in excess of $10 billion in damage due to its forecast impacts as well as the increase in population, property, property value and infrastructure on the Hawaiian Islands since then,’ AccuWeather President and Founder Dr Joel Myers said.

The damage from Hurricane Lane will be caused mainly by flooding, high tides and beach erosion rather than winds, which are still clocking in at near 125mph.

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