KEAAU, HI (August 23, 2018) – Residents in this community on Hawaii’s Big Island are expecting anywhere from 15 to 20 inches of rain due to Hurricane Lane. But they have not been impacted by the high winds, said Jack Snell, pastor of Puna Covenant Church on the island.
High rainfalls already had been recorded this morning, and authorities have issued flash-flood warnings.
The category 4 hurricane was bearing down on the island with winds reaching 130 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service. Lane was starting to pummel the western part of the island this morning. Authorities have told people to set aside up to two weeks of water.
The storm hasn’t hit Oahu, where Wellspring Covenant Church is located in Honolulu. “It’s supposed to come our way tonight, but we’re just watching because they often make sharp turns,” said pastor Dale Vallejo-Sanderson.
People have been preparing for the possibility of the storm hitting by gathering supplies, said Vallejo-Sanderson. Government offices and schools already have been canceled for tomorrow.
Hurricanes are rare in Hawaii. The last two to make landfall were Dot in 1959 and Iniki in 1992.
Puna Covenant was founded in 2006. Its congregation, which has an average attendance of 60, serves a community of about 2,000 people.
Wellspring Covenant Church was founded in 2001 and has an average attendance of 130 people.