Hurricane Lane Bears Down On Hawaii's Big Island

Hawaii's southernmost island is bearing the brunt of the Category 4 storm, but the rest of the state, including Honolulu, lies directly in its path.

America's Pacific paradise is now under a state of emergency as Hurricane Lane soaks the Big Island.

The Navy pulled ships and submarines out of Pearl Harbour before the Hawaiian Islands started getting pounded by strong gusts and torrential rain.

The Big Island is still reeling from recent volcanic eruptions, and forecasters warn the worst is still to come. The outer bands of Hurricane Lane are pummelling the island with more than than 30 centimetres of rain.

Visitors watch the rising surf generated by Hurricane Lane crash upon the Kailua Kona coastline. Image: AAP

One Hilo neighbourhood became a lake, trapping at least one person before help arrived.

"This system is going to be with us the next four, five days, continuing to bring winds to the island large as well as torrential rains," FEMA administrator Brock Long said.

Hawaii's southernmost island is now bearing the brunt of this Category 4 storm, but the rest of the state, including Honolulu, lies directly in its path.

Store shelves emptied out, gas is in short supply and everyone is starting to hunker down.

"I think it's going to be bad, to the effect us locals have never experienced before," Kendall Bisarra, a Maui resident, said.

Workers board up a store in Honolulu. Image: AAP

Hawaii's last direct hit happened in 1992 with Hurricane Iniki, causing US $3 billion in damage.

The Big Island is already reeling from months of devastating lava flows from the Kilauea volcano. For an island that just can't seem to catch a break, those eruptions have died down just as waters start to rise.