A powerful hurricane that threatened Hawaii for a week rapidly disintegrated to become a tropical storm south of Honolulu. But meteorologists warned heavy rains could still wallop the islands with flash flooding and punishing winds.
Lane dumped nearly 3 feet of rain on parts of the Big Island of Hawaii over the past two days, forcing residents to flee their homes in waist-high water and officials to clear a series of landslides.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said people need to be vigilant and not let their guard down. But he was happy to hear the storm deteriorated.
"The good news is Lane got weak and fell apart. We dodged a bullet," he said at a news conference on Friday.
Lane roared toward the island chain early this week as the most powerful type of hurricane measured: a Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. That meant it was likely to cause catastrophic damage with winds 157 mph or above. But upper-level winds known as shear swiftly tore the storm apart.