Hurricane Lane is heading towards Hawaii at speeds of over 150mph making the Hawaiian islands very vulnerable, the latest bulletin from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revealed. This is the latest travel advice.
The category five storm is the second on record to pass within 350 miles of Hawaii, USA, as it approaches the island from the south, as opposed to the east where cooler water is recorded and can often downgrade the strength of a storm.
The state is now officially under Hurricane Watch as Lane makes its way across the Pacific Ocean.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a hurricane warning for the main islands.
Tropical winds and heavy rainfall could threaten the region, with flash-flooding and damage.
AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said: “Lane has the potential of bringing the state of Hawaii serious and perhaps record damage.”
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated their travel advice for Britons in or travelling to Hawaii.
“The US National Weather Service has declared the state of Hawaii to be under a hurricane watch due to the approach of Hurricane Lane,” the FCO website states.
“If you’re in the area, you should be vigilant, take necessary precautions, monitor local news broadcasts and follow the advice of local authorities.
“For more information and the latest updates check with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.”
Hawaii Tourism Authority said in a public advisory: “Visitors planning to travel to or who are already here in the Hawaiian Islands should contact their airlines, accommodations and activity providers for information on being prepared and make adjustments to travel plans as needed.”
Airports in the Hawaiian Islands are preparing emergency generators and pumping stations with fuel and emergency fuel for possible deployments, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported.
Airports will communicate with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding flight conditions and flights could be cancelled in coming days.
The FAA tweeted yesterday morning: “Hurricane Lane may cause airlines to cancel flights in the direct path of the storm near Hawaii. Please check flight status with your airline.”
Honolulu Airport currently remains open with flights operating in and our out of Hawaii’s capital on the island of Oahu.
United Airlines has issued a travel waiver in light to the hurricane.
On their website, it states: “The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before September 9, 2018, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.”
Other airlines waiving rebooking fees include Delta, Hawaiian, Alaska and American.
Holidaymakers in Hawaii already should try to book flights out of the state as soon as possible, Sarah Schlichter, senior editor of travel website SmarterTravel told MarketWatch.
“You should try to fly out early if you can,” Schlichter said. “This way emergency services can focus on the locals during the storm.”
Tourists with travel insurance will be covered for any changes in plan as a result of the hurricane such as hotel evacuation and flight cancellation.
Hawaiian emergency authorities have advised that tourists staying in hotels check with front desk staff to find out what emergency accommodations will be available. Public shelters throughout the state will accept tourists, according to MarketWatch.
Hurricane season usually runs between November to May, although can occur any time of year depending on weather conditions.