A Hawaii County employee photographs a river swollen by Hurricane Lane in Hilo, Hawaii, U.S., August 25, 2018. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
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Sirens wailed while workers piled sandbags in front of hotels and police blared warnings to tourists to leave the world-famous Waikiki Beach as Hurricane Lane barreled north after dumping nearly 2 feet of rain on Hawaii's mostly rural Big Island.Hurricane Lane, whose center was still offshore, lashed the Big Island with more than 76 centimeters of rain in about 24 hours. It had maximum sustained winds near 193 kph, making it a Category 3 hurricane. A wind gust of 107 kph was recorded at Kohala Ranch on the northern side of the Big Island.Forecasters said the center of the storm will move close to or over parts of Hawaii's main islands late Friday, bringing dangerous surf of 6 meters.Shelters were open throughout the islands, with 350 people staying in them in Oahu.The National Weather Service downgraded the Big Island to a tropical storm warning, meaning it expects sustained winds of 62 kph to 117 kph on the island instead of stronger hurricane force winds.The central Pacific gets fewer hurricanes than other regions, with about only four or five named storms a year.
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