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Newswatch

For Thursday, February 24, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:

Lightning punches hole in steeple

A lightning strike blew a hole in the steeple of a Kaneohe church last night during a storm that brought hail, thunder and flash flooding.

The lightning bolt struck Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at 48-422 Kamehameha Highway before 6:50 p.m. and left a 10-square-foot hole in the church's wooden steeple, said Honolulu fire Capt. Terry Seelig.

Firefighters responded and found there was apparently no structural damage to the roof beside the steeple, Seelig said. They used tarps from the church to patch the hole. It wasn't raining at the time, and no one was hurt, Seelig said.

Lightning also disabled a boat off the coast of East Honolulu. A fire rescue boat and other firefighters were dispatched about 9:30 p.m. to the area. Initial reports said the boat had been drifting for a while and was about 3 miles offshore from Hawaii Loa Ridge.

Further information was not immediately available.

The National Weather Service downgraded a flash flood warning for Windward Oahu to a watch after radar showed heavy rain and thunderstorms moving offshore last night.

A flood advisory remained in effect for the rest of the island and Maui County.

About 1,000 Hawaiian Electric customers in the Kaiser High School area in Hawaii Kai lost power about 6:15 p.m. Residents there also reported heavy rain.

The National Weather Service said spotters reported flooding along Kaneohe Bay Drive about 5:30 p.m.

Forecasters received a report of hail in Kunia yesterday afternoon.

Ailing governor postpones D.C. trip

Gov. Neil Abercrombie woke up feeling ill yesterday and visited a doctor for treatment for what appears to be a cold, according to Donalyn Dela Cruz, the governor's spokeswoman.

Abercrombie put off a trip yesterday to the winter meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington, D.C. He will decide today whether to try to make the meeting.






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