Trump declares state of emergency in Hawaii ahead of hurricane

Trump declares state of emergency in Hawaii ahead of hurricane
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in Hawaii as the island braces for a Category 5 hurricane.

The president ordered federal assistance to aid the state and local response efforts to Hurricane Lane, which strengthened as it approached Hawaii.

The Hawaiian islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe are under a hurricane watch, with the storm packing winds of up to 160 mph and the potential for flooding rains.

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Wednesday that Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenImmigrant advocacy groups seek restraining order to block Trump asylum policy The Hill's Morning Report - Trump faces mounting challenges to emergency declaration 2,000 asylum seekers return home, decide to stay in Mexico: report MORE briefed Trump on the storm earlier in the day. 

"We encourage all those in the path of the storm to listen to the instruction of state and local authorities as it relates to evacuation orders and shelter locations," Sanders said.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell told Hawaii News Now that local officials are taking steps to alleviate flooding before the storm hits.

"It’s important for residents and visitors to stay alert and stay informed," Caldwell said.

"Some people might say, 'Another hurricane, it didn't hit us last time, we don’t need to worry,'" he continued. "No, we got to plan for the worst and hope for the best."