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Strong winds knock out power, close roads

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:27 a.m. HST, Jan 23, 2014


Strong winds, rain, lightning and even snow are creating problems across the state as a storm system blows down the island chain.

On Oahu, Hawaiian Electric crews and Honolulu Police Department patrol officers were busy dealing with wind-related power outages from Waianae to Moiliili throughout Wednesday.

Most recently, HPD patrol officers shut down the H-1 freeway westbound on-ramp on Old Waialae Road from about 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. as crews fixed downed lines near the Hawaiian Humane Society shelter.

Power has been restored to about 200 customers, HECO spokesman Darren Pai said.

In the Iwilei area, about 200 customers in the Iwilei area have been seeing power turn and off since mid-afternoon, Pai said.

The situation is ongoing and HECO crews have yet to find the source of the outages, he said.

About 1,000 customers lost power in an area from Nanakuli to Waianae, including Hakimo Road. The outage was believed to have been caused by downed power lines in the area, Pai said.

Power was restored shortly before 5 p.m.

Also, Honolulu Police closed California Avenue in both directions between North Cane Street and Ihoiho Place at noon after falling trees crashed into utility lines. Power has been restored to most there, although 50 customers continue to not have electricity, he said.

Kauai County closed Black Pot, Pine Trees and Haena parks on the north shore because of the high winds.

Heavy rains on the Big Island prompted a flood advisory, which expired at 3:15 p.m.

The National Weather Service extended a wind advisory for Maui and the Big Island until midnight because of gusty northwest winds of 25 to 35 mph, gusting above 40 mph. The advisory for Oahu and Kauai County expired at 6 p.m.

The winds and high surf have also prompted small craft advisories and gale warnings for mariners.

Big Island summits are under both high wind warnings and a winter weather advisory. Winds on the summits  are gusting above 100 mph and freezing rain and up to a quarter inch of snow is expected.

At Maui's Haleakala National Park, high-profile vehicles (15 passengers or more) were not allowed at the summit for about one hour earlier Wednesday afternoon due to sustained high winds of at least 50 mph.

A downed tree and power pole closed Kulani Road in Mountain View just before 11 a.m. Hawaii island's Civil Defense reported about 4 to 6 inches of runoff on the road between Kawaihae and Hawi.

On Maui, flooding closed the Piilani Highway on Maui between mile marker 31 and Nuu Landing at about 10 a.m.

Earlier, gusty winds also kept HECO busy Tuesday night and Wednesday morning on Oahu with crews fixing multiple outages.

One lane of Pali Highway was closed Wednesday morning in the Kailua direction at about 5:37 a.m. as crews cleared fallen trees and debris.

The outage, reported shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday, affected about 300 customers in Laie. Crews are working to restore power to the area, HECO's Pai said. A preliminary report traced the cause to a lightning strike. Power was restored to the area just before 7 a.m.

A second outage, reported around 11 p.m. Tuesday, affected about 1,000 customers in Kaneohe. The cause was traced to a large tree that fell and took down some power lines. Repair crews had restored power to most customers by 12:30 a.m. and 150 customers were without power as of 4:20 a.m., Pai said. Power was fully restored around 6:30 a.m.

Another outage, likely caused by high winds, affected about 1,100 Enchanted Lake customers and hit around 3:30 a.m., Pai said. Power was restored to all but 150 customers in the area by 4:25 a.m., and fully restored around 8:25 a.m.






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