Winter wind causes minor damage to Big Island observatories

Winter wind causes minor damage to Big Island observatories
(Image: Canada France Hawaii Telescope)

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Strong winds from a winter storm caused minor damage to at least two observatories on Hawaii's tallest peak.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports the Big Island summit of Mauna Kea recorded wind gusts of 191 mph late Sunday.

Doug Simons, executive director of Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, says the winds blew open the front door of the observatory and damaged its latch.

He says the observatory's first floor was frozen because of the open door and the wind chill of about minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

University of Hawaii spokesman Dan Meisenzahl says minor damage was found on a roof at the university's 2.2-meter telescope.

A winter storm watch remained in effect for the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa through Thursday.

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