Hurricane Lane barrels toward Hawaii with torrential rains

HONOLULU (AP) — Hurricane Lane barreled toward Hawaii today, dumping torrential rains that caused flooding on the Big Island as people stocked up on supplies and piled sandbags to shield oceanfront businesses against the increasingly violent surf.

The Category 2 storm was expected to turn west Saturday before reaching the islands and skirting Oahu – the state’s most populated island. Even without making a direct hit, the system threatened to bring a huge storm surge, high wind and heavy rain, forecasters said.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty in this forecast,” warned Federal Emergency Management Administrator Brock Long, explaining that the rain would continue for the next two to three days. “We hope all citizens are heeding the warning that local officials are putting out.”

On Oahu, gusts rattled windows and roofs in Honolulu’s hillside neighborhood of Nuuanu overnight and scattered tree branches, palm fronds and at least one electrical line across roadways.

A brush fire on the island of Maui forced the relocation of a hurricane shelter in Lahaina as nearby residents were evacuated.

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