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Wind gust rips siding off office building

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    Strong winds blew siding off the Island Insurance Center building yesterday, with debris striking a worker.

One person was hurt and Bethel Street was briefly closed yesterday morning after gusty winds blew siding off a downtown office building.

Firefighters were summoned at 8:30 a.m. to the Island Insurance Center building, 1022 Bethel St., near the Macy’s department store.

Capt. Terry Seelig, Hono­lulu Fire Department spokes­man, said a worker was struck by falling debris and taken to a hospital by a co-worker. Seelig did not know the person’s condition.

No workers were evacuated from the building, and the insurance company’s office remained open.

Seelig said siding from the building was blown off by the wind, but the debris didn’t damage any property. He said firefighters removed debris from the street "to minimize the hazard." Island Insurance has hired a contractor to correct the problem.

Hawaii is under a high wind advisory until this morning, with forecasters predicting gusts as high as 55 mph.

On Kumu Place in Manoa yesterday morning, a 15-by-30-foot section of a roof was peeled back by wind but did not detach from the home. Seelig said firefighters were able to secure the damaged roof.

High winds knocked down a utility pole in Kaimuki Wednesday afternoon, cutting off electricity to about 900 Hawaiian Electric Co. customers for 90 minutes.

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