Vancouver Island family riding out tropical storm Lane in Hawaii

This NASA satellite imagery shows Hurricane Lane in the Central Pacific Ocean southeast of the Hawaiian Islands on Tuesday

This NASA satellite imagery shows Hurricane Lane in the Central Pacific Ocean southeast of the Hawaiian Islands on Tuesday

The submarining of a auto on the Big Island on Friday.

Hawaii rarely gets hit.

Hawaii's major airports stayed open during the storm, though some flights were cancelled at Honolulu's main airport and at Kahului Airport on Maui.

It has lashed Hawaii's Big Island with almost 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain in about 24 hours.

Lane's most serious effects were felt on the eastern side of the Big Island, where the storm, which never officially made landfall, dumped as much as four feet of rain over the last several days.

Firefighters on the Big Island rescued 39 people from floodwaters Friday through early Saturday as the island grappled with the almost 4 feet (1.2 meters) of rain from Tropical Storm Lane, formerly Hurricane Lane, dumped on the eastern part of the island over the course of three days.

"Regardless of the storm's track, life-threatening flash flooding, along with locally strong winds and possible isolated tornadoes, will continue to extend far beyond the centre's location", the National Weather Service's Honolulu office said.

A National Weather Service meteorologist describes flooding on Hawaii's Big Island as catastrophic, with parts of the island soaked with 35 inches (89 centimeters) of rain in 48 hours.

Hotels began putting deck chairs back alongside pools.

The NWS says wind gusts of 51 miles per hour (82 kph) have been recorded on Oahu, and 49 miles per hour (78 kph) on Maui. On Saturday, winds were about 11 miles per hour.

Hurricane Lane may have looked like a monster storm earlier this week, but it petered out by Friday thanks to strong wind shear.

Brad Kieserman, vice president of Disaster Operations and Logistics for the American Red Cross, told a news conference that more than 2,000 people were sheltered in 45 evacuation centers. The city of Hilo, population 43,000, was flooded with waist-high water.

As flooding hit the Big Island, winds fanned brush fires that had broken out in dry areas of Maui and Oahu.

Hawaii County Civil Defense spokeswoman Kelly Wooten said teams were assessing damage but continued to focus on recovery efforts because of the ongoing precipitation. The fire burned nine homes in the historic coastal town of Lahaina and forced 600 people to evacuate. Some have returned, but many have not because much of the area lacks power, Araki-Regan said.

County, state and federal officials remain ready to respond to anyone in need of help.

The last major storm to strike Hawaii was almost three decades ago, when Hurricane Iniki hit the island of Kauai, leaving six dead and causing billions of dollars in damage.

In Honolulu's Waikiki, the man-made Ala Wai Canal was likely to flood if predicted rains arrive, said Ray Alexander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Others have come close in recent years.

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