Strong winds cause damage, power outages - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Strong winds cause damage, power outages

Sam Houston Sam Houston
Keith Inafuku Keith Inafuku
Bruce Ing Bruce Ing
Mike Young Mike Young
Portion of wall ripped open by winds at the Foodland on Beretania Street Portion of wall ripped open by winds at the Foodland on Beretania Street

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Firefighters are on roofing duty. The Honolulu Fire Department says the strong winds have damaged at least 20 homes or businesses on Oahu in the last three days.

On Wednesday night, many families were still in the dark.

Along the H-1 freeway, lights were out between the Bingham Street and University Avenue exits.

The power outage hit around 7:00 PM and stretched from Moiliili to Makiki, and Manoa.

The National Weather Service says the islands could be in store for more outages due to strong winds in the forecast.

"On Maui for instance, today on some of the higher elevations, we've seen gusts in excess of 71 miles per hour so that's pretty close to hurricane force," said Sam Houston, lead forecaster at the National Weather Service.

In Manoa, there were more blown roofs, including at a home on Kahiwa Place.

"The main house from this corner ripped off diagonally across the roof about 25% of the roof," said Keith Inafuku, a Manoa resident.

A huge slab of Bruce Ing's roof ripped right off his Manoa home and flew into his neighbors house and car, luckily no one was injured. Firefighters were called out to his home on Pawaina Street to help repair the damage. Ing says these are the worst winds he seen in Manoa in years.

Just around the corner on Pinao Street, the same situation for Mike Young.

"When I got down the street I saw a whole sheet of roof had torn off about 400 square feet of stuff. It had torn off in one piece, went over the yard, over the fence, and went over to the neighbor's house," said Young.

Even the Foodland on Beretania Street couldn't withstand the force of the trades as gusts ripped a piece of a wall.

"With the strong winds we're seeing quite a bit of, and also with low humidity there's a possibility of fires," said Houston.

Wednesday evening's power outage is one of several outages Oahu had throughout the day. At last check, Hawaiian Electric Company said at least 4,000 customers on the island were affected.

Thankfully, there have been no injuries but damage reports to 911 have been increasing in the last three days.

On Monday, the Honolulu Fire Department had three wind-related calls. Tuesday, crews had 10 calls, everything from blown shingles, to arcing power lines. But on Wednesday, there have been 18 wind-related calls for help. 12 of those were for damaged buildings.

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