Waimea spared major damage, heavy winds topple massive trees

Waimea spared major damage, heavy winds topple massive trees

WAIMEA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - [Update]

Waimea homeowner Putty Clark says it's unbelievable his SUV was only superficially scratched after it appeared a massive Ironwood had crushed it. The 60-foot tree was ripped from the ground during high wind gusts as Tropical Storm Iselle moved through the area just before midnight Friday. Clark and others thought the vehicle, which had been left parked in the driveway was a total loss, but crews with Higgins Premium Landscaping, who worked all day clearing away branches and debris, were shocked to discover the SUV only had a few scratches.  Power was restored to the homes along Opelo Road around 6 p.m. Friday.

[Original story]

HELCO is on scene at a neighborhood in Waimea that has been out of power since just before midnight Friday when a 60-foot Ironwood tree was ripped from the ground -- pulling with it about a 30 ft circumference root ball as it crashed into a family's.  Witnesses say they heard a thunderous boom and shortly afterwards the power went out, but the homeowner wasn't able to survey the extent of the damage until daylight Friday.  The SUV is believed to be completely totaled, but miraculously, none of the structures on the property was damaged.

Another gigantic tree came crashing down at Anna's Ranch in Waimea, a National Historic site.  Ranch trustees estimate the eucalyptus is about 80-feet tall and they think it's at least 75 years old. Fortunately, no one was around when it came toppling down.  Eucalyptus trees are notorious for being top heavy and not having very strong roots.

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