Aerial view of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii, taken on July 1, 2016. The U.S. Navy moved its fleet of ships an submarines out of Hawaii as Hurricane Lane approached the island on Wednesday. Photo by Ace Rheaume/U.S. Navy | License Photo
Aug. 22 (UPI) — The U.S. Navy is moving its ships and submarines away from Hawaii on Wednesday as the state braces for the oncoming Hurricane Lane.
Rear Adm. Brian Fort, commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific announced all ships not currently undergoing maintenance would be moved out of Pearl Harbor and placed in a position to help respond after the storm, if needed.

“Based on the current track of the storm, we made the decision to begin to sortie the Pearl Harbor-based ships,” Fort said. “This allows the ships enough time to transit safely out of the path of the storm.”

The Navy said the ships and submarines will remain at sea until the threat from the storm subsides and Hawaii-based Navy aircraft will be secured in hangars or flown to other airfields to avoid the effects of the hurricane.

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Hurricane Lane neared the Hawaiian islands at Category-4 strength on Wednesday and is expected to turn toward the northwest, followed by a north-northwest turn Thursday through Saturday, pushing the center of the storm near or over the main Hawaiian Islands, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said.

Lane is expected to bring hurricane-force winds and excessive rainfall of 10 inches to 15 inches to portions of the Hawaiian Islands from late Wednesday into the weekend, leading to potentially life-threatening flash flooding and landslides.

Hurricane watches and warnings also were issued for several parts of the island.

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The Hawaii State Department of Education announced all Hawai’i Island and Maui County public schools and offices would be closed until further notice beginning Wednesday.

“We appreciate the support and guidance from our emergency management partners as we work together to ensure the safety of our students, staff and school communities,” Deputy Superintendent Phyllis Unebasami said. “As with any emergency-type situation, we are striving to balance the need for safety with our overall commitment to provide students and families with every sense of normalcy.”

Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed an emergency proclamation Tuesday declaring the counties of Hawai’i, Maui, Kalawao, Kaua’i, and the City and County of Honolulu as disaster areas “for the purpose of implementing the emergency management functions as allowed by law.”

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“Hurricane Lane is not a well-behaved hurricane. I’ve not seen such dramatic changes in the forecast track as I’ve seen with this storm. I urge our residents and visitors to take this threat seriously and prepare for a significant impact,” Ige said.

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