Track Hurricane Lane as it approaches Hawaii

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The timing of the decay was uncertain. So the odds of those 10,931 square mile specks of land in the 62.46 million-square-mile Pacific Ocean getting run over by a hurricane are pretty small.

He says emergency workers haven't been able to contact them since then because of poor cellphone reception.

"I went to Safeway last night for regular groceries, everyone was in a panic", said Thao Nguyen, 35, an employee at a Honolulu branch of Hawaiian shirt retailer Roberta Oaks.

This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Lane near Hawaii on Thursday.

Dangerous, heavy rains and flooding are occurring in east Hawaii as Lane slows down.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, but at least 14 roads had been closed due to flash floods and landslides, she said.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Tom Travis said there's not enough shelter space statewide.

"On the forecast track, the center of Lane will move over, or dangerously close to portions of the main Hawaiian islands later today through Friday".

"When people experience large disasters where they lose their home, it's an emotional time", Penny said.

One key change is making sure that generators are in place so they can immediately provide power to residents and quickly restart the water system, Long told a briefing in Washington. The federal law requires goods to bypass the state on their way to the mainland before being shipped to Hawaii.

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Over a million people in Hawaii are already seeing the first signs of Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 cyclone that could become the first major hurricane to make landfall there in 26 years. Lane is slowly moving toward the northwest near 7 miles per hour.

Hawaii residents emptied store shelves Wednesday, claimed the last sheets of plywood to board up windows and drained gas pumps as Hurricane Lane churned toward the state.

The eye was expected to sweep very close to or over the islands sometime later Thursday. Officials are concerned that people have been complacent about preparations. Government officials have also said they are working to assist Hawaii's homeless population many of whom live in coastal areas which are likely to be affected.

Huge waves have been crashing onto the coast of Big Island, as Hurricane Lane threatens a direct hit on Hawaii. Over the course of Thursday, "we are looking at measuring a lot of this rainfall actually in feet rather than inches", said Gavin Shigesato, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, on Thursday.

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

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

President Trump "swiftly approved" it, he said.

Trump issued the declaration on Wednesday.

Much of the state of Hawaii is now under a hurricane warning, with Category 4 hurricane Lane threatening to make landfall, bringing 10 to 24 inches of rain in some parts of the state, reports CBS News.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the Big Island as well as Maui County and Oahu - meaning hurricane conditions are expected there.