POSTED: 6:09 a.m. HST, Feb 17, 2013
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.