JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Honolulu resident Matt Van Someren passed a downed tree near the New City Nissan dealership yesterday afternoon along Ala Moana Boulevard. Localized gusts brought down trees across Oahu and cut power to some areas of the island.
Winds topple trees and power lines, raise roofs
For some Oahu residents, yesterday was more than just a bad hair day.
Moanalua Valley resident Nan Tsuruda had her roof blown off shortly after 3 p.m.
"Oh, my shingles," Tsuruda said. "It just started to rip off. The wind is so strong."
Tsuruda called 911, and responding firefighters removed loose aluminum shingles and nailed down the remainder to prevent any more from flying off and possibly injuring someone.
"Thank God it happened during the day and nobody got hurt," she said. "They came in time to save some of it (the roof). I just hope it's not going to rain."
Blown roofs and downed power lines, utility poles and trees kept fire, highway and electric company crews busy yesterday.
Much of Oahu and South Kohala on the Big Island were under a wind advisory until 6 a.m. today that began at 6:04 p.m. yesterday.
A mass of unusually cold, dense air has banked against the northeast slopes of the islands, said National Weather Service meteorologist Vladimir Ryshko. "The air is trying to force its way through passes and canyons. Because it's funneling through narrow gaps, it's accelerating like waterfalls of air."
The strong winds were localized, because some areas are in the paths of these wind "waterfalls," he said.
A wind advisory signals sustained winds of 30 mph, or frequent gusts greater than 50 mph.
The weather service suspects sustained winds higher than 30 mph, but had not received actual reports from areas sampled last night.
Power was restored at about 8:15 p.m. yesterday for 820 Hawaiian Electric Co. customers in Manoa who lost power at about 5:03 p.m. on East Manoa Road, Oahu Avenue and seven side streets, said HECO spokeswoman Janet Crawford.
The fire department responded to at least four blown roofs and several downed utility poles.
Two large ironwood trees fell yesterday afternoon along the Likelike Highway, causing a partial closure for at least three hours while state transportation crews removed them. One was leaning on a light post and was removed as a precaution, said state Transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa.
HECO crews worked in upper Manoa to replace a damaged utility pole. A downed power line at a small shopping center at 2902 East Manoa Road caused a partial power outage.
About 30 HECO customers lost power because of problems with a power line in Makiki Heights.