The effects of Hurricane Lane are being felt on the Big Island and has prompted State and County leaders to take immediate action.
Governor David Ige signed a request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration in the event Hurricane Lane causes damages that would require federal assistance. He is also in the process of closing all commercial harbors throughout the state.
“Harbor notices have sent out to all vessels that they need to vacate prior to the storm. This is because harbors are our life line to essential food and products and we don’t want our vessels being sunk in the harbor which would limit access for important shipments that we need to receive.”
The Governor also issued an executive order for administrative leave for nonessential non-disaster response state and county workers. All State Offices as well as public schools and University of Hawai’i campuses will be closed as previously announced. The Governor is also closing highways statewide because of their susceptibility to storm damage and landslides.
“We will be closing Kuhio Highway on Kaua’i’s north shore on Friday. There will be no guided access from Hanalei to Wainiha during this period of time. The Pali Highway, in the Kailua-bound direction will be closed beginning at 8 p-m, Thursday. We also urge people to stay off Hana Highway on Maui and Akonepule Highway on Hawai’I County.”
Mayor Kirk Caldwell is also placing non-disaster response city workers on administrative leave and closing city offices. He is also suspending bus and handivan services.
“The last bus trip, the last handivan trip will be at 6 o’clock in the evening, Thursday. And, after that, there will be no bus service on a regular basis. So that’s gonna mean, Friday, it could mean Saturday. If, for some reason, it moves quicker, we’ll start re-implementing bus service.
Handivan services will be approved on a case-by-case basis. The bus will also be used to transport residents to twenty emergency shelters located at public school sites island-wide. The busses will have an evacuation signs on them and will not charge a fare and will allow pets. More information is available at the Honolulu.gov website or the hnl info alert app.
“We do not want to see what happened in Puerto Rico. And it starts with every one of the residents on this island. That they have their hurricane kit, their 14 days of food and water. That they’re working with their family and neighbors; helping each other; sheltering in place unless they feel they need to one of the shelters because it’s dangerous.
For HPR News, I’m Wayne Yoshioka.