Tornado Touches Down On Lana'i - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Tornado Touches Down On Lana'i

Crews remove debris from power lines Crews remove debris from power lines
A trailer was overturned A trailer was overturned
Jon Gustafson Jon Gustafson

(KHNL) There was more than just the rumble of thunder that rolled through the state last night. The damaging sounds of severe weather were also heard on Lana'i as a tornado tore thru that island.

When heavy rains hit the state Thursday night, severe weather struck Lana'i. Thunderstorms are not too common, but tornadoes are rare here in the islands. Hawaii only gets one per year statewide on average. So after a twister touched down on Lana'i it was big news to this little island.

"The tornado itself likely developed very quickly" said Wes Browning of the National Weather Service.

"I said that looks like a tornado, so we kept watching and watching. I said it really looks like a tornado out there" said eyewitness Willie Alboro.

Above Kaumalapau Harbor you can see where the twister reportedly touched down, but on the ground, you can get a better idea of the power of this storm. A shack smashed to smithereens, the force of the winds broke up a fence anchored in concrete and tore apart trailers at this construction site.

"Three trailers, this one was knocked off its foundation about three feet....damaged the electrical box. We lost power." said  project manager Jon Gustafson.

Another trailer was tossed like a toy over a wall from the winds. Debris sent flying cut off power to parts of the Pineapple Isle. No one was hurt when the twister touched down....but many were shocked at this sudden severe weather for a normally quiet and laid back Lana'i.

"Our parent company is in Indiana and they get stuff like this. We didn't come here expecting a tornado" said Gustafson.

Even with the damage to the construction site, with one trailer a total loss and others perched precariously today, crews were still at work repairing the Lana'i breakwater.