Wednesday, December 1, 1999

disrupts some power
on Oahu

Hundreds of homes were
without electricity and
traffic was snarled

By Jaymes K. Song


Thunder, lightning and heavy rains struck Oahu early today, knocking out power to hundreds of homes and causing several fender benders and other problems that slowed traffic and frustrated morning commuters.

Rainfall at one point this morning was coming down at two to three inches per hour in parts of the Windward side and Hawaii Kai, said National Weather Service forecaster Chuck Pucevich.

The weather service said this will be the worst of the wet weather for the week, but more winds and occasional showers are expected through Friday.

Winds were measured at 15 to 30 miles per hour today, and should drop to 15 to 25 mph tomorrow, forecasters said.

The harsh morning weather, which hit only Oahu, was created by a low pressure system which caused the atmosphere to become unstable, Pucevich said. The system should move southwest of the islands by Saturday at the latest.

Hawaiian Electric Co. crews scattered across the island to respond to outages in Haaula, Ewa Beach, Lanikai and Pohakapu. About 50 to 60 homes in each area were without power for hours.

The electricity in Hauula, Ewa Beach and Lanikai went out at about 6 a.m., said HECO spokesman Fred Kobashikawa.

The Hauula outage, which was believed to be caused by a lightning strike on a power line, was restored by 7:28 a.m. Ewa Beach was restored at 9:45 a.m. The other two areas were still out as of 10:30 a.m.

Oceanic Cable also reported cable TV outages in Kailua and Haaula. Police and fire reported no major incidents this morning, although there were several fender-benders, congested traffic and some traffic signals going out.

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