Winds keep crews busy with blown roofs, downed power lines - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Winds keep crews busy with blown roofs, downed power lines

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The sun may have been out, but strong winds across the state kept crews busy Sunday as the gusts blew off roofing, downed power lines and delayed the opening of the Hawaii Kai Carnival.

The carnival's early shutdown on Saturday afternoon made company history. E.K. Fernandez said its was the first time in more than 50 years that it has had to cancel a carnival because of wind.

While the rides are built to structurally withstand strong winds, there are also thresholds when its too windy to operate a ride safely.

"If the wind speed is below, say, 35 miles an hour, which is what it is for the Ferris wheel for instance here, that means you can operate up to 35 miles an hour," said Mike Wood, a carnival safety inspector. "Honestly, you get above 25, it's kinda unpleasant for the guests."

"We've had a few reports of gusts to 60 miles an hour, especially leeward sections, Leeward Oahu, the volcano area on the Big Island, and a lot of areas with 45 to 55 mile an hour winds as well," said John Bravender, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu. 

The wind blew down trees, including one on Likelike Highway Sunday morning. About a thousand Hawaiian Electric customers were without power and traffic signals weren't working, most likely because of power lines blown down by the winds.

The strong gusts also took roofing off homes. Two homes on the same street in Manoa had part of their roofing taken off. Fire crews struggled to make repairs in the windy conditions.

The Honolulu Fire Department reported at least nine homes on Oahu with roof damage in areas like Manoa, Kalihi and Kaimuki, which are downslope of the strong northeast winds.

"As the wind blows over the mountains it gets funneled between the terrain and the trade wind inversion and gets accelerated down to the leeward side, so it actually picks up speed as it goes downhill," said Bravender.

Bravender said it will still be blustery on Monday, but the winds shouldn't be as strong.

A Wind Advisory remains in effect for Lanai and parts of the Big Island of Hawaii until 6 a.m. Monday.

Related stories: 

Wind Warning downgraded to advisory; winds remain gusty

Hawaii Kai Carnival opens after wind delay

Follow Ben Gutierrez:    

Copyright 2014 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved. 

Powered by Frankly