Clean-up continues after powerful winter storm pummels state with strong winds, big waves
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Across the state Monday, crews and homeowners were cleaning up the mess left behind by a wild winter storm that walloped communities with everything from high winds to monster surf.
And while the biggest impacts of the storm were seen Sunday, surf remained high as the work week started and winds were still blustery in many communities.
On Maui, three school buses were caught between downed power lines in Haiku around 6:40 a.m. Maui Electric Company crews were able to quickly resolved the issue, and no injuries were reported.
And power outages continued across the state, including one that forced the closure of all Honokaa schools on the Big Island, state officials said.
Over the course of the weekend, outages affected more than 127,000 customers on Oahu alone.
The storm system even left behind some snow, dusting the summits on the Big Island and Maui and even falling at Polipoli State Recreation Area, on the slopes of Haleakala.
On Monday, the summit district at Haleakala National Park remained closed due to “extreme winter conditions,” including snow and ice on roads.
The summits were also where the strongest winds were recorded. Mauna Kea saw the strongest gusts, including one that topped out at 191 mph.
But it was at lower elevations where the storm left the biggest mess.
On Oahu alone, the Honolulu Fire Department responded to 132 calls on Sunday from midnight to 9:30 p.m. There were at least 78 blown roofs, 31 toppled trees and downed power lines.
And paramedics also rushed to the scenes of at least five weather-related incidents around the island.
On Sunday morning, a 33-year-old man was seriously injured on Kunia Road when a pole came crashing down onto his vehicle just after 10 a.m. Sunday. Two hours later, a 29-year-old man was also seriously injured after part of a palm tree apparently fell on his head.
Later in the day, a woman broke her foot when a tree fell in Waikiki. And a 91-year-old woman was knocked down by the wind, paramedics said.
The last incident involved a woman in her 40s who suffered a laceration to her leg after strong winds apparently knocked over a bicycle and hit her.
At a news conference Sunday, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the city’s response was “all hands on deck.”
The strong winds, at about 30 to 40 mph in most Oahu communities, also made for treacherous driving conditions throughout Sunday and led to a number of road closures.
At Port Allen on Kauai, winds speeds hit 67 mph. Winds were gusting to 55 mph at Waianae Boat Harbor.
At Kalaeloa Airport, the wind was so strong it tipped over a small plane.
On Oahu’s North Shore, the strong winds coupled with monster surf to create particularly dangerous conditions for anyone near the water.
Lifeguard Bryan Phillips kept watch over Shark’s Cove. He said the wave event was “on another level.”
“Super, super dangerous. Water is washing over the road in several places," he said. “It’s a weather event and a wave event that some people have never seen in their lifetimes.”
Brent Williamson, who is visiting from West Virginia, said looking out at the ocean Sunday was a good reminder at just how powerful Mother Nature can be.
“It’s amazing," he said. "You see it on TV but there’s nothing like being right here in looking at it. It’s unbelievable.”
This story will be updated.
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