Lane second to only to Harvey for amount of storm rainfall
Lane dropped 52.02 inches of rain on Mountain View, Hawaii, over four days, making it the second-highest storm rainfall total in U.S. history, the National Weather Service said. Only 2017’s Hurricane Harvey dumped more rain, with 60.58 recorded in Nederland, Texas.
Lane broke Hawaii’s record for rain during a tropical cyclone, with the previous record being 52.0 inches of rain recorded at Kanalohuluhulu Ranger Station during Hurricane Hiki in 1950.
Parts of Hawaii were still seeing the effects of Lane, National Weather Service Meteorologist Vanessa Almanza said.
The entire state was under a flash-flood watch through Tuesday. Kauai and northwest Big Island were under a flash-flood warning.
“We’re expecting some drier air to move in Tuesday night into Friday,” Almanza said, which could bring relief to the Big Island, where rain continued to pour Monday morning.
“People just want the rain to stop,” Kahele said. “People are tired of being wet.”
It’s still too early to quantify the extent of the damage, but it runs the gamut from flooded homes to washed-out roads, said Kelly Wooten, spokeswoman for the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency.
“We don’t really have any numbers or statistics back yet,” she said. Assessment teams began surveying the damage Sunday.
The storm caused damage mostly on the Big Island, where rivers raged near Hilo and nearly 40 people had to be rescued from homes.
There were no deaths from the storm, which had the potential to cause much more destruction.
TERRAY SYLVESTER / REUTERS
About 200 people have called to report damage, mostly on the east side of the Big Island, county Managing Director Wil Okabe said. “What we’re concerned about is the mold – when it goes into the drywall, the rug, stuff like that,” Okabe said.
The storm named Lane was barreling toward the Hawaiian Islands as a powerful Category 5 hurricane in the middle of the week. But then it slowed down, moving as slow as 2 mph at times.
While it slowed, the storm’s outer bands hovered over the east side of the Big Island, allowing Lane to drop 51.53 inches of rain, the National Weather Service said Monday.
On Sunday, state Sen. Kai Kahele surveyed flood damage at Waiakea Elementary School in Hilo on the Big island. Six classrooms for preschool, special education and kindergarten students flooded, and the smell of mildew was settling in, he said.
“I think it’s reflective of what you see all over east Hawaii,” he said. “Four feet of water in three days overwhelmed even the best infrastructure and the best storm drains and plans.”
As the island continued to clean up from the storm, some people were feeling like it could have been worse if Lane remained a hurricane and unleashed destructive winds.
Catarine Zaragoza-Dodge, owner of The Locavore Store in Hilo, was feeling grateful her shop fared better than others. The store got some flooding Thursday night, and they were able to mop up waterproof vinyl floors on Friday in order to re-open by Saturday.
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