As much as 40 inches of rain are expected to fall on the islands between Friday and Saturday as the storm moves past the islands in a westerly direction, according to The Weather Channel. Flooding poses significant risk to the state’s transportation infrastructure.
The Coast Guard has prepositioned equipment and personnel in Hawaii to conduct a post-storm assessment of the state’s port infrastructure to ensure the fastest return of maritime cargo delivery to the islands, said Rear Adm. Meredith Austin, in charge of Coast Guard operations in Hawaii, during a morning press briefing.
Matson Navigation Co., a longtime provider of ocean cargo transport services between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii, said its vessels servicing Hawaii will begin to discharge cargo as soon as the state’s ports are reopened after the storm.
Matson’s vessel Mahimahi arrived at Honolulu on Wednesday and 537 containers were discharged prior to the closure of Honolulu Harbor. “The vessel was then moved to a safe position offshore and will return to complete discharge of an additional 615 containers when the port reopens,” the carrier said.
In addition, two of Matson’s three barges dedicated to serving Hawaii’s other ports were loaded and left Honolulu early Thursday morning toward the islands of Kahului and Hilo, respectively, where they will wait offshore until the storm passes and the ports reopen.
“Our number one priority is protecting life. We are in close communications with the U.S. Coast Guard and Hawaii Department of Transportation, collaborating with them to ensure the safety of our vessels and crew members,” said Emily Sinclair, senior manager of corporate communications for Pasha Hawaii, the other major carrier in the Jones Act trade between the mainland and Hawaii.
“The U.S. Coast Guard approved entry into the Honolulu port Wednesday night for Pasha Hawaii’s Horizon Pacific to allow for limited discharge of Oahu local cargo,” she said. “This partial discharge is to assist in earliest cargo availability once the storm passes.”
The Horizon Pacific has since steamed to a safe location, where it is on standby for the remainder of the storm. The company said it is working with authorities to outline possible times for the ship to return to the port. As of Friday morning, the Horizon Pacific was expected to return to Honolulu Saturday, after Hurricane Lane passes. The company has other ships that are expected to arrive in Honolulu on Sunday and Wednesday. Its roll-on, roll-off ship, Jean Anne, would continue on to Kahului and Hilo on Wednesday. Pasha Hawaii also has a reserve vessel on standby on the West Coast ready to assist.
Pasha Group’s Hawaii Stevedores subsidiary implemented an emergency response plan to secure its container terminal at Pier 51 and ro-ro terminal at Piers 1-2 in Honolulu.
“Many relief organizations are usually sorely in need of pallet jacks and pallets themselves before, during and after a disaster,” said Kathy Fulton, ALAN’s executive director. “Both are easy for nonprofits to use and apply to a challenge without requiring formal industrial equipment training.”
She also said forklifts and boxes of all sizes will be needed to help sort and distribute aid throughout Hawaii. A list of necessary supplies may be found on ALAN’s Hurricane Lane web page (https://www.alanaid.org/hurricanelane/).
In addition, ALAN welcomes logistics specialists to volunteer their help in the aftermath of natural disasters.
“Whether it’s showing up at a local warehouse to help assemble flood kits or sharing engineering expertise to help with a transportation optimization, there are many ways to help with ALAN’s hurricane relief efforts that don’t involve opening your wallet or checkbook,” the organization said.