Cleanup begins after storm tears through state - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Cleanup begins after storm tears through state

Downed tree in Waimanalo Downed tree in Waimanalo
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The gym at the Central YMCA on Atkinson Drive near Ala Moana would normally be filled with the sounds of a pickup basketball game. But on Saturday morning, it was filled with the sound of mechanical blowers, trying to dry out the wooden floor that had been covered with an inch or more of rain.

The rain got into the building after strong winds from a fast-moving cold front peeled back half of the roofing material.

YMCA staffers spent the morning cleaning up the debris, while the gym itself will be closed for at least a few days to dry out.

The damage was just part of what was left from the front that turned skies gray, and then blue with flashes of lightning. It also brought torrential rainfall over much of the state.

However, the winds did the most damage. On Maui, there were several reports of downed trees and power lines. On the Big Island of Hawaii, residents in Pahoa also dealt with blown roofs and downed trees.

"While we're waiting for them, I was already cutting everything down with knife and ax and then my uncle got a chainsaw and started helping cut everything down," said a Kaniahiku Village resident.

On Oahu, winds also broke a utility pole on Leonui Street in Waipahu, leaving it to lean against a building. However, the utility lines didn't break..

In Waipio, no one was hurt when the winds toppled a tree onto a house, which also escaped major damage.

"You would have heard the house crack if it did," said neighbor Jeff Guerpo. "She said she heard it, she looked out, she couldn't see anything because the tree was blocking."

"It was just windy last night, but I'm surprised we didn't hear it when it fell," said Guerpo's wife, Roxane. "But I'm glad everybody's safe."

An even larger tree fell behind a Waimanalo property into a stream during a period of heavy rain and strong wind at about 10 p.m. Friday. Claude Colton said he and his family were in their home during a power outage when they heard a roar that sounded "like a dinosaur."

Colton ran outside with a flashlight. "I'm looking around and I'm used to this tree being a hundred, over a hundred feet tall," he said. "I'm looking for the tree and I cannot find it. And I realized that the tree went over."

The tree is now blocking the stream, which has Colton concerned. He's now trying to determine who to call to get the tree out before the next storm comes.

"The next heavy rain, guarantee, I'm afraid the ground we're standing on now is going to get washed away."

Related story: Cold front clears state; High Wind Warning still up for Big Island

Copyright 2015 HawaiiNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly