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Weather affects power, roads; schools to reopen Monday

By Gregg K. Kakesako

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 07:15 p.m. HST, Mar 04, 2011


A storm system moving over the state caused power outages and road closures across Oahu, tying up traffic for commuters from Kapolei to Waikane this morning.

Meanwhile, schools that were closed today will be open Monday, the Department of Education announced.

Closed today were Campbell Hgh School and its feeder schools, as well as Hale Kula Elementary in Wahiawa. Schools that were closed in the Campbell Complex were Campbell High, Ewa Makai Middle, Ilima Intermediate and seven elementary schools: Ewa, Ewa Beach, Holomua, Iroquois Point, Kaimiloa, Keoneula and Pohakea.

More than 14,000 homes and businesses, mostly in Leeward Oahu, were without power this morning. By 2 p.m. HECO crews had restored power to all but 6,500 homes and businesses, most of them in the Ewa plain, Darren Pai, HECO spokesman said.

The heaviest rain associated with the storm system moved off Oahu and was over Lanai at about 11 a.m. today.

Capt. Terry Seelig, Honolulu Fire Department spokesman, said between 3:15 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. the fire department received 45 weather-related calls.

"There were about 30 tree-related incidents," Seelig said.

Seelig said the fire department received a half-dozen calls for roof damage caused by falling trees, but only a few were caused by the wind.

He said rain over the past few days may have saturated the ground, causing the trees and the poles to fall easily.

On Kauai, a county spokeswoman said its emergency operations center was activated for a few hours last night, but was closed just before midnight after the weather service cancelled its flash flood warning.

A brief electrical outage was reported in Hanapepe and the minor flooding along Kalani Kau Mauka road in Koloa last night. Early this morning Maluhia road in south Kauai was closed briefly by a large tree branch blocking northbound lane.

There were no injuries on Oahu attributed to last night's storm, fire and Emergency Services Department officials said.

But there were multiple road closures across the island that affected the morning commute.

Power outages were reported in Waipahu, Wahiawa, Pacific Palisades, Waimanalo and portions of the North Shore.

Road closures included:

>> In the Ewa/Kapolei area: Drivers were advised to take the North/South Road to Kapolei Parkway to get to Ewa Beach, Barbers Point and Kapolei High School because of the closure of makai-bound lanes of Fort Barette Road and Fort Weaver Road. There were at least 15 poles down on Fort Weaver road with another six poles along Fort Barette road that were damaged.

Crews worked to clear makai-bound lanes of Fort Weaver Road at Aawa Drive of a downed tree, poles and wires. Traffic was being turned around and sent back up on Fort Weaver.

>> Franklin D. Roosevelt Road near Costco in Kapolei was also shut because of wires on the roadway. Hawaiian Telcom spokeswoman said  there were at least 15 ulility poles along the railroad tracks that were damaged.

>> A downed tree closed Kamaaha Street east of Fort Barrette Road.

>> Downed wires were also affecting traffic between Kamaaha Avenue and Kapolei Parkway and downed trees were reported on Kumuiki Street and other areas of Kapolei.

>> Minor flooding was reported on the Waikane River Bridge. Motorists are advised to use caution when crossing the bridge.

>> In town, Nehoa Avenue between Makiki and Punahou streets was closed because of a leaning pole.

The Kailua-bound lanes of Pali Highway on the Kailua side of the tunnel were briefly closed because of a downed tree 200 yards before the first runaway ramp and a landslide in this area. It reopened by 8 a.m, a state Department of Transportation spokesman said.







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