HONOLULU (KHON2) — KHON2 News was along University Avenue where it’s still extremely windy, and the islands aree getting those strong gusts.
Now, the wind was strong throughout Friday, Feb. 10. So strong that it brought down an 88-year-old banyan tree at a church in Mānoa.
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This is near the Crossroads Church, and crews were here Friday afternoon to cut down some of the smaller portions of the tree. But, it was visible that the tree snapped right at the trunk.
Now, KHON2 spoke with the church earlier today; and they said they’re just glad no one was hurt.
“There’s a couple of folks’ trucks that got buried, but they seem to be fine and glad no one was in it luckily no damage to life just loss of this one,” said David Baumgarturner, Church of the Crossroads pastor.
The church is grateful that no one was hurt, but it’s a devastating loss for one of their treasured landmarks.
Baumgarturner said that he got “there and just started to tear up. It’s a beautiful tree; it’s been here since 1935.”
Not too far away, the strong winds impacted more parked cars near ‘Iolani School.
“I hear a big bang outside our garage,” said Reymund Nivera, Ala Wai Plaza employee.
A massive tree branch snapped off and landed right on a car.
Property managers of nearby apartments said that no on was hurt, but three cars were damaged by flying debris.
“Oh, it’s like totally big damage right now; we just trimmed out tree, too, last couple weeks ago,” added Nivera.
The strong winds are keeping Honolulu Fire Department busy with crews responding to nine blown roof calls of Friday afternoon.
Tory’s Roofing said that it’s getting double the calls from homeowners.
“A lot of wind damage, roofs that are leaking. There’s some repairs, but I think most of the customers that are calling in know that their roof is old. And, probably, that’s why it’s getting blown off,” said Mike Tory of Tory’s Roofing.
On Hawai’i Island, Civil Defense announced the closure of Spencer Park due to high winds.
Drivers were caught in what they said was a dust storm Friday along Saddle Road.
Experts said that some of the strongest gusts are coming from portions of the Big Island.
“Most of the strongest winds are across the northern sections of the Big Island where we’ve seen high wind warning winds in excess of 70mph or more,” said Thomas Vaughn, National Weather Service Meteorologist.
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The strong winds are expected to continue, and Hawaiian Electric does want to remind the public to be aware of any fallen trees, downed utility poles and, of course, potential power outages.
HECO said that if you see a downed pole to be sure to call 911 immediately.