Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 25, 2003

Gusting winds pummel O'ahu, Kaua'i

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Engine 27 firefighters from the Waimanalo station help a Flamingo Street homeowner with a roof that had been loosened by gusts in the area. The firefighters repositioned the roof by pulling it back down, then secured it by nailing it down onto the rafters. They then put a tarp on areas of the roof that were still exposed.

Bruce Asato • The Honolulu Advertiser

Strong, gusty winds knocked down utility poles and trees, blew off portions of several roofs and caused power failures across O'ahu yesterday.

But O'ahu Civil Defense and the Honolulu Fire Department reported no serious damage or injuries as a result of yesterday's blustery weather.

All islands were under a high wind advisory until 4 a.m. today, said National Weather Service lead forecaster Jeff Powell. He said the winds should begin to subside today and conditions should be a little more pleasant on Super Bowl Sunday.

Yesterday, however, gusts of up to 50 mph kept Hawaiian Electric Co. crews busy throughout the day. Four of the six major power failures were on Windward O'ahu, with two occurring simultaneously in Kane'ohe that affected 3,600 customers.

HECO spokesman Fred Kobashikawa said all of the outages appeared to be weather-related.

"It's the gusting conditions that are rough on the system," Kobashikawa said. "When it's gusting, it tends to make it rough on our equipment."

Verizon, meanwhile, responded to damaged telephone utility poles on Kaukonahua Road near Thomson's Corner. Company spokeswoman Ann Nishida said one pole snapped, causing five others to lean. "The cable is intact and service was not impacted," she said.

On Kaua'i, several hundred yards of dust screening was torn apart by powerful gusts before dawn yesterday at the Home Depot construction site at Kukui Grove in Lihu'e.

Jan TenBruggencate • The Honolulu Advertiser

Honolulu firefighters responded to four calls for damaged roofs in Kahalu'u, Waimanalo and Kane'ohe.

On Kaua'i, powerful and gusty winds knocked down trees and limbs through the night. Residents reported scattered outages, and crews were cleaning debris off the roads islandwide.

The high winds tore down nearly half a mile of dust fencing at the new Home Depot construction site at Kukui Grove, forcing a brief closure of the roadway today.

Big Island and Maui officials reported no significant weather-related problems.

Advertiser staff writers Rod Ohira and Jan TenBruggencate contributed to this report.