Strong winds topple trees, knock out power; wind advisory posted

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gusty easterly winds downed utility poles and toppled, cutting off electricity and blocking roads around Oahu Sunday.

Hawaiian Electric Company reported the winds may have been the reason why a utility pole came down shortly after 7 a.m. on Hoolaulea Street near Hoomalimali Street in Pearl City. Hoolaulea Street was closed in both directions while crews make repairs. At last check, 700 customers in the area were without power. Other power outages were reported in Manoa, Makiki, McCully, Moiliili, Newtown, Aiea, Kalihi, Sand Island, Kalihi Valley, Kamehameha Heights, Nuuanu, Tantalus and Pacific Heights.

In Manoa, firefighters made temporary repairs to a home on Kakela Iki Place after part its roof was blown off. The incident was reported at around 7:45 a.m.

A large tree came down in the 3600 block of Tantalus Drive at around 10 a.m., temporarily blocking the road in both directions. Tree trimmers cut an cleared the tree. Several other smaller trees also were reported down in the Tantalus and Round Top areas. No injuries were reported.

A wind advisory has been extended for nearly all areas of the state until 6 p.m. Monday. Winds diminished somewhat Sunday afternoon, but could increase again Sunday night and Monday.

The wind advisory means that winds of at least 30 miles per hour are expected, along with gusts to 50 miles per hour. The winds can bring down tree branches and make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service said that the strongest gusts can be expected across leeward sections. The winds should begin to diminish tonight.

The advisory covers all areas of the islands, except for the Haleakala summit on Maui and the Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii.

According to the Weather Service, strong sustained easterly winds of 26 miles per hour were reported at 9 a.m. at Kapalua Airport in West Maui, with gusts of 40 miles per hour. There were 20 mile-per-hour sustained winds at Honolulu Airport with gusts to 25 miles per hour. A gust of 42 miles per hour was reported at South Point on the Big Island.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.