HONOLULU (KHON2) — The overnight storm created quite a mess across the state. The strong winds were a big concern.
On Oahu alone, the Honolulu Fire Department responded to dozens of calls for blown roofs, downed trees and downed poles. As a result, tens of thousands of people lost power for hours.
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Strong winds sent trees toppling down onto cars overnight in areas like Ewa and Kaneohe. The Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation said, City and State crews responded to 73 tree-related emergencies Wednesday, April 19 including fallen trees, impacting City parks and some private properties.
In Kalihi, the wind even knocked down an utility pole onto a building. Some businesses in the area said they were without power since 1 a.m.
“We are still able to do some business, but our business is kind of limited,” said Erik Jacoby, an Other Realms employee. “Once that power backup goes out, then we’re kind of done for the day.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Education reported seven Oahu public schools were closed Wednesday due to the power outages. The DOE has since cleared the following schools to reopen Thursday, April 20:
- Farrington High School
- Kalihi Kai Elementary
- Kalihi Uka Elementary
- Kalihi Elementary
- Ma’ema’e Elementary
- Nu’uanu Elementary
- Pu’uhale Elementary
Hawaiian Electric reported major outages overnight on Oahu, impacting tens of thousands of customers at a time.
“The winds resulted in debris or tree limbs being blown into the powerlines or impacting the power lines,” said Darren Pai from Hawaiian Electric. “That was the cause of many of the outages in many cases.”
The Honolulu Department of Transportation Services said crews have been out since Tuesday night addressing traffic signal outages due to issues with power and the high winds. Some of those signal outages are still being fixed Wednesday.
On Maui, flooding closed portions of Piilani Highway Wednesday. Meanwhile, heavy rain shut down portions of Highway 11 on Hawaii Island. Big island officials are urging residents to take precautions as the severe weather is still looming.
“Batten down the hatches, if you don’t have to go out,” said Cyrus Johnasen, Hawaii County Public Information Officer. “If you’re experiencing weather that is abnormal, stay home if you can.”
For weather-related emergencies, call 911.
Mid City Restaurant Supply said they have been without power since, at least, 4:45 a.m. when an employee found the store and warehouse had no power.
Power outages have been reported across Oahu, according to HECO’s outage map. As of 8 a.m., there were outages on the North Shore, in Ewa and across the Windward side and HECO said as of 8:45 a.m. there were about 11,000 customers without power.
HECO said the outages are mostly weather-related and caused by objects falling into power lines and rain.
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It is not known how long it will take to get everyone’s power restored since they are all different. Some will require replacing downed lines but could just be switching them to a back up circuit.