HONOLULU (KHON2) — The severe weather sweeping across Hawaii is bringing heavy rain, strong wind gusts and even hail to portions of the state. Meanwhile, officials are warning residents to say vigilant as the kona low system moves across the islands.
Some Oahu residents woke up to a surprise Monday morning, Dec. 19, like hail falling in Kahuku.
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“We were looking at the windows; and then all of a sudden, we start hearing the pellets. The hail coming down and hitting the windows and hitting the roof,” said Noel Portugal, a Kahuku resident.
The Honolulu Fire Department responded to 55 weather-related calls from Sunday to Monday afternoon from water evacuations and downed power lines to fallen trees.
Residents of a Waipahu town home told KHON2 they were not expecting anything like this. A massive tree came tumbling down on one of the units.
“We just heard this gust of wind, this big gust out of nowhere; and we heard a big loud bang,” said Douglas Carvehlo Jr., a Waipahu resident.
“I heard crackling, but I thought it was the wind, and then, I saw the first part of the tree come down on the roof,” said Alicia Harvard, a Waipahu resident.
Over on Maui, a shelter has opened at Hana High and Elementary School due to road closures and limited access along Hana Highway. Officials report that a portion of Piilani Highway is closed. Residents dealt with power outages and strong winds throughout the day.
“When those downslope winds come off the mountain, they’re a lot like straight line winds; and we had sections of the fence that got blown down by it,” said Giselle Davidson, a Hana resident.
On Hawaii Island, the Hawaii Department of Transportation reported that arrivals and departures were being held due to heavy wind gusts, rain and lightning passing over the Ellison Onizuka International Airport at Keahole.
The National Weather Service says the severe weather will continue through Monday and residents should be prepared for any sudden changes.
“We’re seeing a lot of repeat thunderstorms go away and will come through, and it will take a break, and there will be another one so don’t become complacent,” said John Bravender of the National Weather Service.
Anyone who experiences weather damage is asked to take photos and document it.
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“You can show it to your insurance agent before you do the cleanup,” said Adam Weintraub, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Communication Director. “We could still be seeing additional damage for the next day or two.”