We spoke to Hawaii County Managing Director Will Okabe just before 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning as Hurricane Lane brings torrential rains to the east side of Hawaii Island, causing flooding and landslides.
Okabe said many of the school gyms on the west side of the island are open for shelters right now; other shelters will open on the east side if need be. He says on the Hilo side, we are very accustomed to rain, but today and last night, there has been a lot more than expected. Rain is expected to move to the Kona side, which typically doesn’t see a lot of rain, so that will be impactful to that community.
Okabe asks Big Island residents to pay attention to civil defense announcements, radio and of course, TV for the latest updates. KHON2 is live with coverage — click here to stream live. Okabe asks residents to stay well informed and don’t panic.
Okabe says just because the track appears to be moving west, that doesn’t mean it will necessarily continue on that path, and residents should be prepared.
“We have to understand that Mother Nature has its own path,” Okabe said. “As long as people understand that–prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.”