Is it safe for tourists to travel to Hawaii again?
Hurricane Lane has caused no small amount of destruction across the state of Hawaii over the past few days, but it seems that the hurricane is finally winding down, leaving travellers and tourists to wonder if it is safe to travel again.
After several days of strong winds, heavy rain, and flooding across the US state, Hurricane Lane has been downgraded to a tropical storm, and all storm watches and warnings have been recently cancelled.
Hawaii, itself, remains under flash flood watch due to the high levels of rain that the islands are still experiencing, but the storm’s winds have reduced from the 125mph they were on Friday to 50mph as of today.
The unpleasant, wet weather is due to last until approximately Tuesday, experts have advised. But drier winds are expected from Wednesday all the way through to the weekend, according to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Tourists in Hawaii over the weekend have rushed to try and leave the island, but there were issues with finding seats on planes that weren’t already fully booked. Fares were largely capped across the board, though there was a small issue with American Airlines, which caused a lot of upset.
There are limited seats available on airplanes leaving Hawaii over the next few days because of high load factors. Hawaiian Airlines, themselves, have waved their change fees for flights until tomorrow, 28th August, and flights that are rebooked on or before 9th September will have any difference in the fare price eliminated.
Other airlines are following suit, many of them are waiving change fees throughout today and tomorrow. Kahului Airport had a power outage issue on Friday, resulting in United Airlines cancelling all flights in and out of the airport. However, Kahului is now fully operational.
Maui Now, a local Hawaiian news site advised all travellers to have patience and expect crowds when they head to any of the airports on the Hawaiian Islands; airlines are trying to make up for earlier cancellations, but there is only so much space on a plane for passengers.
Hurricane Lane was originally a category 5 hurricane, but it was quickly downgraded to a category 3, and then a tropical storm just 24 hours later. The highest level of rainfall was recorded at Waiakea Uka as 44.88 inches. The last tropical storm to produce that much rain was Tropical Storm Paul in November 2000.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office have not yet updated their travel advice regarding Hawaii, but the warning should still remain the same during this time: Stay safe. If you’re in Hawaii, or travelling to or from Hawaii, listen to the local authorities, keep up to date with local news and media, and heed any evacuation warnings.
It does seem like the worst has passed, and the skies should start clearing up within the next week. Remain vigilant and calm when on the Islands, and ensure that you stay understanding when trying to depart on a flight.
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