Monster Hurricane Lane unleashes torrential rain on Hawaii

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Federal government officials say Hurricane Lane remains a powerful, category 4 storm that will have a major impact on the Hawaiian islands. Emergency crews rescued five California tourists from a home they were renting in Hilo after a nearby gulch overflowed and it flooded Thursday.

Hawaii County firefighters, who were in touch with the home's owner, chose to evacuate the group before the water rose any higher.

Arnold, NASA's Drew Feustel and Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos used the call sign "Hawaii" for the Soyuz spacecraft they arrived in back in March.

The NWS reported that parts of the Big Island are now submerged in 2 feet (0.6 m) of rushing floodwater and that rain accumulation up to 40 inches (100 centimeters) is expected in some areas by the end of the weekend.

The hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 120 miles an hour, had already dumped more than two feet of rain on parts of the Big Island by Friday morning.

It is not a typical Hawaiian vacation for visitors, as high winds and downpours have already hit the big island of Hawaii.

Stores along Waikiki's glitzy Kalakaua Avenue stacked sandbags along the bottom of their glass windows to prepare for flash flooding.

"I feel like it's gonna come more and like our house is like gonna get knocked down and stuff like that so I just pray and stuff to not make it happen", a young girl told a local reporter.

The storm caused intermittent power outages in parts of the state.

"We knew it was coming, so I tried to just cram as much as I could into the last few days in anticipation so we could cross things off of our list", said Brinson, who is accustomed to hurricanes after living in Florida.

Officials said it's unclear if the cause of the fire is related to the storm, but the high winds have been stoking it, and the response has been sapping resources that were going toward Hurricane Lane.

Nina Roberts shops for last minute supplies while shelves remain empty as Hurricane Lane approaches Honolulu, Hawaii.

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"We're telling everybody to take the storm seriously, make your final preparations, and be prepared to ride out what is going to be a prolonged rain event", said Andrew Pereira, communications director for the city and county of the state capital, Honolulu, situated on Oahu.

United Airlines said it canceled all Friday flights to and from Kahului airport on Maui, the second-largest island.

However, the airline said it'll be running two nonscheduled "recovery" flights Thursday morning - one each out of Maui and Honolulu - to bring passengers off the islands, including those scheduled to fly out this evening.

Airlines have canceled some flights out of Hawaii as Lane neared the state.

The biggest hotels were confident they could keep their guests safe as long as they stay inside, said Mufi Hannemann, CEO of Hawaii Tourism and Lodging Association. "There's nowhere for the water to go except to pond up and flood these areas".

The storm was expected to turn to the north later Thursday and into Friday, with little change expected in forward speed. Aid agencies were also working to help Hawaii's sizable homeless population, many of whom live near beaches and streams that could flood.

Governor David Ige has urged residents to set aside a 14-day supply of water, food and medicine.

The National Weather Service downgraded the Big Island to a tropical storm warning, meaning it expects sustained winds of 39 miles per hour (62 kph) to 73 miles per hour (117 kph) on the island instead of stronger hurricane force winds.

Hurricane warnings are in effect for Maui and Oahu, and Kauai is under a hurricane watch at present.

The central Pacific gets fewer hurricanes than other regions, with about only four or five named storms a year. Hawaii rarely gets hit.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency had positioned generators, food, water and other supplies around the islands.