Oahu Residents Clean Up After Winter Storm Takes Down Powerlines, Trees
Oahu residents began cleanup work on Saturday after the destructive winter storm that crashed into the island late last week knocked down trees and power lines across Oahu.
Strong winds blew in from the southwest on Friday night and continued into the early morning on Saturday, causing nine significant power outages across the island. Fortunately, crews responded quickly, and most of the power outages were dealt with in under an hour.
The downed trees will likely take a bit longer to clean up. Fire crews were dispatched to a home on Puana Street in Waipio after a large tree fell on a house, but no injuries were reported. On Henoheno Street in Ahuimanu, another large tree fell, but this one missed the house and only damaged a fence. Again, no one was injured.
A spokesman with the city’s Department of Emergency Management told KITV4 that there were over 50 calls to respond to fallen trees in Oahu on Friday and Saturday. Most of the calls came from Mililani and Waipio. While a few homes and cars were damaged, no major injuries were reported.
Several roads and highways across Oahu were closed by police while crews removed downed power lines. Officials also canceled camping permits in endangered areas and closed several trails and beaches.
“Storms like this severely affect tourism. While most tours and activities can be rescheduled, some visitors don’t have that luxury due to limited time on the islands or are nearing the end of their visit,” explains Dale Palileo, online e-commerce manager at E Noa Tours. “These forced tour cancellations means loss of revenue for tour operators and disappointments for affected visitors.”
The storm also brought in heavy rain, and a flood advisory was posted in Oahu that expired at 10:15 p.m. Flood advisories were also issued in the nearby islands of Kauai and Maui.
According to the National Weather Service, the severe weather was caused by a rapidly moving cold front that brought severe thunderstorms, gusty winds, downpours and blizzard conditions with it. The storm passed over Kauai, Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.
According to the National Weather Service, the next few days should be relatively cool, calm and dry as the weather stabilizes.