HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii is not going through a windstorm, but gusts up to 50 miles per hour can sure make it feel like one.

One Big Island woman learned just how strong those gusts can get after being struck in the head by a 14-foot piece of metal roofing.

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Big Island Farm Sanctuary founder Paula Buck was about 40 feet away from a shelter with metal panels for roofing while she did some morning chores on Wednesday, Dec. 7.
She was not expecting one of the 40- to 50-pound sections to fly off.

“And all I really remember really is turning and seeing it coming at me and the next think I know I’m on the ground and Josh is picking me up,” Paula said.

Paula’s husband, Josh Buck, saw the panel strike her head out of the corner of his eye and rushed to catch her before her face hit the dirt. A doctor’s visit that same day revealed a minor concussion — both felt grateful that the sharp metal did not slice her skin.

“I’ve heard stories about these things causing death or different things so it’s good that it wasn’t, you know obviously it was one of my first concerns,” Josh said.

A State senator on Oahu had a similar experience on Farrington Highway; A wave of dust and debris blew over her car on Wednesday.

“And it started to come flying towards the highway where I was driving and just in the blink of an eye, a piece of metal, slammed into my windshield, shattering it,” Sen. Maile Shimabukuro said, “also went in front of my car and then under my tires and I ran over it.”

The Honolulu Fire Department said there were six calls for downed trees since Wednesday and Hawaiian Electric confirmed two power outages in Aina Haina and one in Wailuku due to high winds.

Sen. Shimabukuro and the Buck family are both thankful that no one was hurt. The Bucks even reenacted the event through a photo.

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“But we’re married, I’m in it regardless, so even if it scared her and maimed her for life, I’m here,” Josh said.
“Yeah. He stuck with me for a while longer, I survived it, so we’re all good,” Paula added.