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Violent winds across isles take toll on roofs and trees

By Michael Tsai

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:28 a.m. HST, Jan 06, 2013


Violent winds caused by a high-pressure system northeast of the Hawaiian islands blew apart roofs, felled trees, and knocked out power in communities across the state Saturday.

A wind advisory for Molokai, Maui, Lanai, Kahoolawe and the lower slopes of Hawaii island is in effect through 6 p.m. Sunday. Winds of at least 30 mph, with gusts of over 50 mph, are expected in the affected areas.

Police, firefighters and other first responders on Oahu were kept busy throughout the day as they fielded emergency calls for six blown roofs and five downed trees spread out from Nuuanu to Waianae.

No injuries were reported as a result of any of the wind-related incidents.

An early morning outage in Wahiawa left about 9,800 customers without power from 3 to 5 a.m. A downed pole also knocked out power to a handful of industrial customers in Halawa starting at 9:40 a.m. and extending through the early evening.

High winds were also blamed for downed power lines on Diamond Head Road between Coconut Avenue and Beach Road. Hawaiian Electric Co. personnel were called to the scene shortly before 6 p.m. and worked through the evening to restore power to about 200 customers.

On Hawaii island, gusts topping 50 mph tore the roofs off of three homes in the Kailapa Hawaiian Homestead subdivision in Kawaihae.

On Kailapa Street, a whirlwind tore the roof off a home and sent corrugated metal and other roofing material into a nearby electrical transformer, resulting in a spectacular explosion. Nearby, on Puukamalii Place, high winds blew the roof off a garage, damaging a neighboring home. Also in the subdivision, the framework of a house under construction collapsed after being buffeted by powerful gusts.

The high winds are expected to continue through the early part of the week.

According to the National Weather Service, tradewinds will continue to bring showers to windward and mauka areas.

A high-surf advisory is in effect for the east shores of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui and Hawaii island through 6 p.m. Sunday, with surf of 7 to 10 feet expected in the affected areas.







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