Tornado touches down in Kapolei

James Fernandez
James Fernandez
Byron Manansala
Byron Manansala

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

KAPOLEI (KHNL) - When the funnel cloud appeared in West Oahu, like many others Kimberly Villamero, couldn't believe her eyes.

"One of our co-workers thought it was a fire. But it was a funnel cloud that started spinning. We saw dirt and debri and we saw lighting bolt," said Villamero, a worker in Kapolei.

While Kimberly witnessed the twister from afar, those at the Kapolei Golf Course got up close to it as it touched down. James Fernandez was on the fifth hole.

"We seen this dark funnel cloud and it started to turn into a tornado. It started to get bigger and bigger and someone said you better start running," said Fernandez, a golfer.

While golfers escaped without a scratch, an employee was injured.

"He was trying to save a customer, she was getting blown away he put her in a cart and when he did that, the winds were so strong it picked him up and slammed him against the cart," said Byron Mananasla, a Kapolei Golf Course Employee.

That employee, Neal Bernard was taken to the hospital with a possible concussion.

Meanwhile, the twister left a trail of damage around the course.

"It started at the club house, tore up the trees and sucked up water from the lake, and went all the way down to hole number 15 from what we can tell by the damage," said Ken Terao, who is the Kapolei Golf Course Manager.

Trees were knocked over, branches strewn throughout the scenic course, even the club house roof sustained damage.

In addition to the physical damage, Kapolei Golf Course took a huge hit in revenue as tee times were fully booked when the twister struck.

As for the injured worker, Neal Bernard, he was released from the hospital and returned home to rest.