Wild weather leaves wake of damage, power outages across state

(Image: City and County of Honolulu)
(Image: City and County of Honolulu)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Drenching thunderstorms walloped the state Monday and Tuesday, bringing flooding rains that closed roads and schools, causing major power outages, and bringing down trees and large limbs.

A Flash Flood Warning for the Big Island expired at 2:15 p.m., but the island remains under a Flash Flood Watch.

The heavy rains started falling Monday on Oahu before moving their way eastward.

On Monday night, a tree that fell onto a bus stop near Ala Moana left a woman in serious condition, while heavy rains are also apparently to blame for a boat sinking at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor.

On Maui, meanwhile, the severe weather knocked out power to most of Maui early Tuesday — approximately 66,500 customers. Maui Electric officials said lightning hit the electrical system, causing damage to electrical equipment and downed power lines.

The power outage forced Hawaiian Airlines to cancel four flights Tuesday morning.

Maui Electric crews have been scrambling to deal with repairs, starting with critical infrastructure like the airport and hospital. As of 8:30 p.m., 300 customers were still in the dark.

"It's a really delicate process because it's so important that we continue to balance the demand for electricity or customer usage, with the available generation, the power we deliver to our customers," explained Maui Electric president Sharon Suzuki.

While some private schools decided to close for the day, the state chose to hold classes at public schools.

By Tuesday afternoon, the power was back on for all campuses, except for Maui High and Kalama Intermediate.

Maui High's principal estimates about half of the school's nearly 2,000 students showed up this morning. He said the teachers did the best they could under the circumstances.

"Classes are not happening because they're dark. There's no electricity. Teachers were struggling and it was hot so kids were calling their parents to come and get them," said principal Jamie Yap.

The downpours were to blame for at least two reported landslides on Maui, and flooding rains also forced officials to close several roads.

Classes at University of Maui College were canceled until 10 a.m., but students were advised to monitor UH system announcements.

The heavy rain has also prompted a Brown Water Advisory for Maui waters, the state Department of Health said. The public should stay out of the water due to possible overflowing cesspools and sewer manholes, along with other hazardous conditions.

Go to the Hawaii News Now Weather page for the latest forecast or check out our Interactive radar.
To get the latest weather conditions on your mobile device click HERE

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.