Tropical Storm Lane threatens more Hawaii floods as it turns away
HONOLULU (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Lane, greatly diminished from the major hurricane it once was, drifted away from the Hawaiian coast as lingering showers spread across the island chain, threatening to trigger more flooding and landslides. But as trade winds finally began to nudge the storm off to the west, away from land, the National Weather Service (NWS) lifted all remaining tropical storm warnings and watch advisories for the state of Hawaii. A flash flood watch remained in effect for Oahu, by far the most developed and populated island, through Sunday morning, local emergency management officials said. And civil defence officials on the Big Island said they were bracing for the possibility of more rain and flooding as well. In addition, a high-surf advisory also was posted through the day for south- and east-facing shores of all the islands. Lane’s maximum sustained winds dropped to 50 miles per hour (85 km per hour), but lingering moisture from the storm “will produce excessive rainfall this weekend, which could lead to additional flash flooding and landslides,” the latest weather service bulletin said. Concern about a slow-moving storm hovering close to shore while saturating the islands was heightened by the scenario that played out after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas one year ago , then stalled over the Gulf Coast as it drenched the region in rain for several days, causing devastating floods. The NWS cancelled tropical storm warnings that had been posted earlier for Oahu, the resort island of Maui and the smaller, neighbouring islands of Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe. A tropical storm watch for the island of Kaui, farther to the north, also was lifted. The turn of events was welcomed by residents who spent much of the past few days stocking up on food, water, gasoline and batteries and boarding up their windows. The island chain was spared the calamity of a direct hit from a major hurricane as Lane steadily weakened into a tropical storm as it crept northward through the Pacific toward Oahu.