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Strong rain and wind expected through today

Stormy weather cuts electricity and closes roadways and public spaces around Oahu

By Rob Shikina

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:52 a.m. HST, Jan 13, 2011


A cold front that whipped up heavy rain and strong winds for parts of the state yesterday was expected to continue dousing the islands today before weakening, the National Weather Service said.

The front, which was to the northwest of the state, was expected to stall between Kauai and Oahu this morning, prompting the Weather Service to issue a flash-flood watch for all islands until 6 p.m. today. A wind advisory for areas across the state was set to expire at 6 this morning, the Weather Service said.

"The atmosphere will still be unstable; there will be a lot of moisture around," said John Bravender, Weather Service forecaster. "There will still be a potential for heavy rain and possible flooding."

While a low-pressure system to the north of the islands caused the current storm, a high-pressure system in the eastern Pacific generated yesterday's strong winds.

Parts of Leeward Oahu were socked by heavy rains last night.

About 7:50 p.m., firefighters responded to a report of a vehicle in a river near the Makaha end of Puhawai Road. Police said the vehicle may have been parked on the road near a dip and began floating as the water rose.

Power was out from Makaha to Waianae, including the Waianae police substation, which is being powered by a generator.

The Haleiwa-bound lanes of Kaukonahua Road near Weed Circle were closed, police said.

On Windward Oahu, a downed tree closed Waiahole Valley Road, police said.

Stormy conditions on Oahu forced the closure yesterday of all city golf courses and some parks, led to the cancellation of the Sony Open Pro-Am golf competition, and created minor nuisances that kept emergency responders and the power company busy.

Hawaiian Electric Co. crews scrambled to restore power around the island.

A downed telephone pole caused 1,100 customers to lose power for about two hours in Ewa from 5:15 a.m. About 11 a.m., 1,000 customers lost power for an hour in Waipahu, said HECO spokesman Darren Pai.

Yesterday afternoon, about 1,500 customers lost power in Pearl City near Waimano Home Road, some 770 customers lost power in Mililani and about 1,200 customers lost power in Kailua. Power was restored in all areas in about two hours or less.

The cause for most of those outages was still being determined, but a metallic balloon floating into power lines caused Kailua's outage, Pai said.

Traffic signals were also out periodically in Kailua, Pearl City and Mililani, police said.

Firefighters were busy with incidents involving blown roofs in Kaimuki, Mililani, Waimanalo and Kaneohe; problems with trees; and problems with electrical lines, said fire Capt. Terry Seelig.

Although rain forced the cancellation of the Pro-Am at the Waialae Country Club, the four-day Sony Open was still set to begin today at 7:10 a.m.






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