Hurricane Lane Update and road conditions, 24 August 2018

Accessed on 25 August 2018, 0344 UTC, Post #17508.


Email from the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency.


Shortly after the release of this message from the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency, officials downgraded Lane from a category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm.  Despite the weakening of the storm, it continues to dump torrents of rain on East Hawaii, resulting in landslides, flooding, road closures, and the spilling of waste into the ocean.  Here is the current situation:

“A message from COUNTY OF HAWAII

This is a Civil Defense hurricane update for Friday, August 24 at 2:00 in the afternoon.

The Tropical Storm Warning issued by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center continues for Hawaii County. The windward side of Hawaii Island is currently under a flash flood warning and experiencing conditions of heavy rains and flooding.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center reports as of 2:00 pm that Hurricane Lane is a category 1 hurricane located approximately 115 miles W of Kailua-Kona with sustained winds of 85 mph, moving NNE at approximately 2 mph. Due to the slowing of the hurricane, dangerous heavy rains and flooding may persist for several days on the windward side of the Big Island.

Due to the flash flooding, the following major roads are closed:

  • Highway 19 – multiple closures between mile marker 14 and 29
  • Saddle Road – one lane closure between mile marker 8 and 11

Numerous secondary roads in Hilo, Puna, and Hamakua are closed so stay alert. Multiple other landslides are occurring on Highway 19 and other closures can occur without notice. Visit our website for the most up to date closures:

The Department of Environmental Management reports that there are three ongoing wastewater spills from pump stations along the Hilo shoreline. These spills are caused by abnormally high flows due to the heavy rainfall from Hurricane Lane. The wastewater is being discharged on both the ground and at the shoreline. Department of Environmental Management personnel are working with the Department of Health to minimize the hazards.

The Hawaii State Department of Health is advising the public to stay out of streams, coastal, and standing waters that are contaminated by storm water. Storm water may contain harmful micro-organisms from overflowing cesspools or septic tanks as well as animal waste washed into streams and storm drains.

Conditions are being monitored and you will be kept informed of major closures as best as possible. All motorists and residents of effected areas are urged to use extreme caution and be aware of flooding conditions. This is a very dangerous situation and heavy rains are expected to continue on the windward side of the Big Island.

Thank you and please be safe. This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency.”

For the latest Hawaii Island, West Hawaii, Hawaii State, and local sports news, please check the blog sidebars and links.  These news feeds are updated daily.  Thanks for joining us today.

Until next time,

Russ Roberts