The Latest: US agency boosted Hawaii aid before hurricane

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HONOLULU (AP) - The Latest on Hurricane Lane (all times local):

8:50 a.m.

The administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency says the government had positioned generators and other aid in Hawaii well before the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Lane.

FEMA administrator Brock Long said Thursday the supplies arrived in Hawaii after a volcano began oozing lava into neighborhoods in May and in preparation for a recent hurricane that bypassed the islands.

After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last year, a FEMA report noted that one of its main issues was not having enough generators and other emergency aid on the island before the storm.

In response, officials stockpiled such items in hard-to-reach areas such as Hawaii and Alaska.

FEMA says the agency has been talking with grocers to make sure food sources are stocked.

Long says he doesn't anticipate the Jones Act will to be an issue for Hawaii. The federal law requires goods to bypass the state on their way to the mainland before being shipped to Hawaii.

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8 a.m.

Federal official say Hurricane Lane remains a powerful, category 4 storm that will have a major impact on the Hawaiian islands.

Steve Goldstein of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said at a news conference Thursday that Lane had winds up to 130 mph.

It was about 300 miles south of Honolulu and expected to soak the Big Island before heading toward Maui and Oahu.

Goldstein said a direct strike is not needed to see a significant impact from such a strong hurricane.

Officials say more than 30 inches of rain is possible in some areas, which could mean flooding, dangerous surf of 20 feet, and a storm surge of up to 4 feet above normal levels.

Federal officials said they were prepared to help people on the islands.

Brad Kieserman of the Red Cross said there were 16 emergency shelters open and 283 people across the island already in them.

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5:15 a.m.

Torrential downpours from Hurricane Lane are soaking Hawaii's Big Island as the storm approaches the island.

National Weather Service meteorologist Gavin Shigesato says rain gauges near Hilo had recorded 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) of rain in 12 hours as of 4 a.m. Thursday.

Parts of Maui County also seeing rain as bands of rain extended 350 miles (566 kilometers) from the hurricane's center.

Hurricane Lane continues to move northwest and tropical storm conditions were expected to reach the Big Island later Thursday morning with hurricane conditions by nightfall.

Shigesato says the hurricane's speed on Wednesday slowed from 9 mph to 7mph (15 kph to 11 mph).

He says the more stationary hurricane increases the threat of flash floods and landslides because of prolonged, increased rainfall.

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3 a.m.

President Donald J. Trump has issued a disaster declaration for Hawaii as residents prepare to deal with Hurricane Lane.

Trump issued the declaration on Wednesday. It authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate disaster relief efforts with the state.

Hurricane Lane was forecast to continue its northwest turn into the islands Thursday. That would make it the most powerful storm to hit Hawaii since Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

Officials opened shelters on the Big Island and the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai on Wednesday. They urged those needing to use the Molokai shelter to get there soon because of concerns the main highway could become impassable.

Three inches of rain fell in three hours on the Big Island on Wednesday.

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12 a.m.

As emergency shelters opened, rain began to pour and cellphone alerts went out, the approaching hurricane started to feel real for Hawaii residents.

Hurricane Lane was forecast to continue its northwest turn into the islands Thursday, which would make it the most powerful storm to hit Hawaii since Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

Those who lived in Hawaii when Iniki hit said they remember the "pandemonium" and were boarding up their houses and stockpiling water.

Officials opened shelters on the Big Island and the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai on Wednesday. They urged those needing to use the Molokai shelter to get there soon because of concerns the main highway could become impassable.

Three inches of rain fell in three hours on the Big Island on Wednesday.

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