Thursday morning, Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa joined KHON2 News to give residents a live update on what county officials are keeping an eye on ahead of Hurricane Lane.
Arakawa said they’re keeping a close eye on the forecasted track of Lane–while it seems to be moving away from us a bit, we’ll still have a lot of heavy rains, winds and high surg of 15-20 feet. He says it’s hard to predict how much rain, but they expect to get a similar quantity to Hawaii Island, and we do, he says it will be very problematic.
“We’re going to have to bare down and wait like everybody else to see what really happens when the storm hits us,” Arakawa said. “From all indications, we are going to have heavy flooding and high winds no matter where Lane decides to go.”
Arakawa said depending on the wave heights, they’re concerned the highway to Lahaina might become inundated, and isolate the Lahaina community. He says if the roadway becomes impassable, they’ll have major challenges. The mayor says they’ve had a conference call with the governor and National Guard and other military forces, and that they know if something like that happens, we’ll need assistance quickly to try to clear those roads. In the meantime, they’re looking at emergency helicopter services to be able to move people if they need to.
Arakawa says the bus system is down right now and will be for the duration of the storm, but to call them if you need paratransit and they will help move you to an emergency shelter.
Arakawa’s message to Maui County residents Thursday morning:
“Stay in place, try to not to be on the roads, even though it looks like the weather is really nice right now, we’re anticipating it will start picking up shortly.”