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Gusty winds, high surf to continue

By Marcie Kagawa

LAST UPDATED: 11:34 a.m. HST, Feb 18, 2013

Gusting tradewinds that knocked out electricity to nearly 5,000 Oahu customers Sunday will continue through at least Tuesday morning, officials said.

The National Weather Service has extended a statewide wind advisory until 6 a.m. Tuesday. Winds will blow in from the east at 20 to 35 mph, with localized gusts over 50 mph, the weather service said.

“Winds should be subsiding by the end of the week, but it’s still Hawaii,” said Anthony Reynes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Hono­lulu office. “This is the time of the year when we’re under the influence of these high-pressure systems, so be ready for strong winds.”

A high-pressure system from the north “is going to keep strong winds blowing across the islands, mainly from the east and northeast,” Reynes said. “The strong winds will also keep bringing moisture upstream and keep feeding mainly windward and mauka showers.”

The high-pressure system will slowly move east, to be replaced by a low-pressure system from the north by the end of the week, he said. 

Wind-related damage to an electrical transmission tower left about 4,300 Hawaii Electric Co. customers in East Oahu without power for more than four hours Sunday, the company said. The outage began at about 8:30 a.m. and affected homes and businesses from Aina Haina to Wai­ma­nalo.

At about 2 p.m. Sunday, police closed Sand Island Access Road in both directions for two hours because of a leaning utility pole. At about 4 p.m., HPD said, HECO had stabilized the pole near 24 Sand Island Access Road, and police were contra-flowing traffic on one lane.

Maui lifeguards also rescued five windswept paddlers in waters off of Papalaua Beach Park Sunday. A 12-year-old girl and two of her father’s friends were stand-up paddling when winds blew them away from shore at about 12:40 p.m.. The girl’s father paddled out on a stand-up board and a kayaker paddled out to assist and all five were brought to shore by lifeguards using personal watercraft.

A high surf advisory remains in effect for north- and west-facing shores of Oahu, Kauai, Molokai and Niihau; the north-facing shores of Oahu and Maui; the west-facing shores of Oahu, Maui, Hawaii island, Kauai, Molokai and Niihau and the east-facing shores all islands.

Waves up to 12 to 18 feet are expected along the west-facing shores of Kauai and Niihau and the north-facing shores of Oahu and Maui. The west-facing shores of Oahu and Molokai are expected to see waves of up to 8 to 12 feet, forecaster said.

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olos73 wrote:
Everytime there's strong winds, trees fall onto highway on Likelike and Pali. Cut it back already. Far away so it doesn't fall onto the road. The State waiting for trees to land on cars, then get sued?
on February 17,2013 | 10:41AM
localguy wrote:
Gusty tradewinds and HECO's cheap utility poles and lines snap like twigs. Imagine what will happen when a real hurricane hits the islands and completely take's out HECO's shoddy grid system. Can't quickly call in mainland support, HECO is on their own with not enough spare poles or crews to get the job done quickly. Down poles will block roads, delaying repair and construction work. HECO needs to learn from the Japanese on Okinawa where they get frequent typhoons. Steel and reinforced concrete poles survive the typhoons, minimal storm related power issues, fixed in no time. HECO is too busy giving extra money to a clueless CEO, no idea about hurricane preparedness. Just another day in the Nei.
on February 17,2013 | 10:48PM
hikine wrote:
If a hurricane does strike it's not only pole debris that will be on the road. I guess burying the wires is too expensive to do. Steel and reinforced concrete is strong but the wires themselves can snap at high winds.
on February 18,2013 | 04:57AM
f206 wrote:
Whenever the state tries to cut a tree in Hawaii, tree huggers come out to protest and file suit. Never mind the potential loss of life and limb.
on February 18,2013 | 07:53AM
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