Hawaii Island, Maui feel initial impact of Darby

Local News

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The Central Pacific Hurricane Center confirms Tropical Storm Darby made landfall on Hawaii Island at 2 p.m., east of South Point in the vicinity of Naalehu, with 45 mph winds.

At 1:10 p.m., South Puni Makai Loop near Kahakai Boulevard in the Hawaiian Shores subdivision was closed due to downed trees and utility lines. Crews eventually cleared the area.

On Saturday morning, Alana Haitsuka-Fernandez shot video of a raging Waiaka Stream in Kamuela.

Natasha Derego caught incredibly fast-moving water gushing under Kapuna Road in Ahualoa. A separate gulch a mile away was closed due to the excessive flooding over the roadway, she said.

Over in Kapoho, Gary Banks snapped a photo of the raging ocean flooding the tide pools, and reported high winds and surf.

Hawaiian Electric Light Company responded to several outages in the county.

The majority of outages occurred on the east and north sides of the island and were caused primarily by fallen trees, tree branches, and tree bark contacting power lines. Customers in various parts of Puna, Hamakua and Kohala experienced power outages starting Friday evening.

Heading into Sunday, about 1,000 customers in the lower Puna district and a few customers in Hamakua, upper Puna, and Kona were without power. Crews worked throughout the night and Sunday to make repairs and safely restore electric service to all customers by 6 p.m.

Customers in other areas who are experiencing an outage should call the Trouble Desk at 969-6666.

“Our crews work to safely restore power as quickly as possible but the abundance of trees near lines creates hazards and challenges for our crews,” said Rhea Lee-Moku, public information officer. “On Friday afternoon an albizia tree brought down power lines in Pohoiki. After the fallen tree was cleared, crews worked on Saturday to repair the lines. Just as they were preparing to re-energize the lines, another tree fell, bringing the lines down again.”

Corey Hale shared photos with KHON2 of that tree blocking Hinalo Street. You can see the lines twisted in its branches.

Trees continue to be the number one cause of outages on Hawaii Island. Since 2014, HELCO has spent an estimated $14 million and cleared nearly 94,000 trees, 31,000 of which were albizia.

“We thank the community for their patience,” said Lee-Moku. “We’d also like to remind everyone that any downed power line can be energized and dangerous. Do not approach or touch a downed line.”

Any customer still experiencing a power outage or seeing a low-hanging or downed power line, can report it by calling 969-6666.

Over on Maui, Hana Highway was closed between the vicinity of mile markers 9 and 20 past Twin Falls due to landslides and fallen trees. Click here for a full list of closures and cancellations.

Just before 3:30 p.m., the Maui Fire Department rescued an 11-year-old Paukukalo boy and his father from Iao Stream. Fire officials say the boy was playing in the river with his older sister in a calmer part of the stream, tried to go after his boogie board as it floated away, and got swept away by the fast-flowing water.

His sister ran home and came back with their father, who walked out to his son on the island. Firefighters eventually airlifted them both to an area off Waiehu Beach Road. The man wasn’t hurt and the boy suffered minor scrapes. (Video courtesy of Maui 24/7.)

Other weather related incidents reported Saturday include:

  • Kaupakalau Road in Haiku – flooded
  • Meha and Kealaloa roads in Makawao – fallen tree blocking both lanes
  • Waikoloa and Ulaino roads in Hana – flooded
  • The closure of Molokai Landfill due to winds of more than 30 mph

Maui Electric reported multiple storm related outages around the island, including those in Lower Nahiku, Upper Olinda and Haliimaile.

Kamalani Pahukoa sent in a photo of swift-moving water at Waikani Falls off Hana Highway.

On Friday evening, 109 people stayed overnight in Hawaii Island shelters, and three people overnighted in Maui shelters.  Red Cross opened shelters on Lanai and Molokai at 11 a.m. Saturday. These sites will remain open to the public. (View the updated list here.)

On Friday, businesses in downtown Hilo started boarding up their windows, and many also put out sandbags at doorways to protect their property.

The owner of Localvore, a local grocery store, said it was busy at the store.

“I think most people are getting ready, or maybe just to take it easy this weekend and lay low and stock up, just in case there is any power outages or anything. It’s better to be safe than sorry,” said Catarina Zaragoza. “It got kind of mellow toward the end of the day today. I think people were wrapping it up, trying to get home and get ready for this evening and tomorrow.”

Zaragoza says she expects to remain closed until at least Monday.More from Hawaii Island:

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