Gusty winds cause power problems on Oahu

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaiian Electric Company workers were busy dealing with wind-related problems on Christmas Eve. A handful of customers on Koa Ridge above Mililani and about 100 customers in Makaha had no electricity on Saturday night. A wind advisory posted for the state until 6 a.m. on Sunday morning.

"We do have a high pressure system to the north of the islands, and that is what is bringing the clouds in very quickly over the islands which is why we're having showers which are blowing over to the Leeward sections," said National Weather Service forecaster Maureen Ballard.

A HECO spokesman said the strong winds caused several problems. Shortly before 3 p.m. on Saturday, police closed off part of Sheridan Street between Kamaile Street and Makaloa Street due to low hanging wires from a leaning utility pole. Over in Waimalu, one pole came down and another one was leaning. The McDonald's closed since the power was out.

"This is probably the strongest that we're going to see. We're pretty much at the maximum of where the high pressure is over the islands, so the tightest pressure gradient is pretty much over us now, so we should start to see the winds decrease from here on out," said Ballard.

It was snowing at the summit of Mauna Kea. More snow isn't expected this weekend, but forecasters said temperatures would only hit the 30's during the day. Officials said the access road was open to the public on Saturday morning, but the winter weather could cause slick roads and dangerous driving conditions.

Santa will also need to be careful, even in his sleigh.

"Santa needs to be watching out for the turbulence out there and it's just, you know, buckle up," joked Ballard.

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