Every year Hawaii experiences a wave of tourists. Travelers who come for the unique waterfalls and beautiful beaches will stay for the culture and lifestyle. With eco-history trips, famous helicopter tours, underwater submarine rides, and native cuisine, Hawaii is among the top destinations of tourists nationwide. While Hawaii may seem like an oasis to most visitors, the weather is not always sunshine and rainbows. In fact, Hawaii experiences four to five tropical cyclones every year on average.
With cyclones being a normal part of Hawaiian life, residents experience their fair share of flooding, wind damage and high tides every season. Fortunately, Hawaii rarely deals with hurricanes reaching land and mostly have to deal with tropical storms caused by these powerful cyclones.
What Is Hurricane Lane?
Hurricane lane was a tropical storm that developed into a hurricane in 2018 near the southern point of Hawaii. Though this hurricane came within 350 miles of the islands, it did not technically reach landfall. Even though Hurricane Lane did not hit the islands (thanks to Hawaii’s tradewinds), this category 5 cyclone still took its toll on the island chain.
With Maui and Oahu experiencing brush fires, downed trees, and tattered powerlines, this storm was the wettest cyclone recorded in Hawaii’s history. Reportedly causing over 52 inches of rainfall, Hurricane Lane left extreme damage to hamlets and villages across the islands with many still rebuilding to this day. Though the Big Island was far away from Hurricane Lane, it also experienced landslides and flooding making for one of the worst storms in Hawaii’s history since the 1950s.
2018 Hurricane Effects In Oahu
While Hurricane Lane was the wettest cyclone ever recorded, it was just one of ten major hurricanes that plagued the islands in 2018. With twenty-three total storms and 13 hurricanes during the hurricane season, 2018 was one of the worst years Hawaii has ever experienced. In 2018 the state suffered 42 fatalities and neared $1-billion in total damages. Making 2018 the 4th costliest hurricane season for Hawaii in the past 10 years, with 2013 costing over $4-billion in damages and almost 200 fatalities.
How Small Businesses Are Giving Back
Following Hurricane Lane and the nine other major hurricanes that affected Hawaii, humanitarians from around the state poured in to help rebuild the community. With the help of Hands and Hearts, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, and local roofing companies Oahu residents are on the way back to recovery. Though it is a long road, it’s at least a start.
The Future Of Hawaii’s Climate
With drier air, constant changing winds, and cool sea temperatures, Hawaii will continue to experience cyclones on an annual basis. Fortunately, with technology continuing to advance and social media as a driving force of today’s news, residents can be alerted much faster of imminent threats from brewing storms. Hopefully, as we move into 2019 and beyond Hawaii will have better luck with passing storms. If the past is any sign of the future, the best use of time and resources will be on increasing the preparation of Hawaiian residents.