Notice Level: Precautionary (Information Statement Requested)
A Wind Advisory for the Island of Hawaii (with the exception to North and South Kona Districts) has been extended until late Thursday afternoon (March 26th). Strong winds with gust up to 50 mph are expected through Thursday.
Strong winds are also responsible for a few road closures for around West Hawaii on Wednesday. (See Post for further details).
WIND ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM HST THURSDAY... * WHAT...Northeast winds 20 to 30 mph with localized gusts over 50 mph. * WHERE...Portions of Maui, Big Island, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe. * WHEN...Until 6 PM HST Thursday. * IMPACTS...Winds this strong are capable of downing tents or other temporary structures, as well as downing trees and causing sporadic power outages. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Motorists, especially those in high profile vehicles, are urged to drive with extra caution.
The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with the Hawaii Police Department (HPD), State of Hawai'i Department of Transportation (HDOT), and Hawaiian Electric - Hawaii Island (HECO) responded to several wind-related incidents in the Ka'u and North Kohala districts that lead to the closure of 2 major roadways in West Hawaii on Wednesday afternoon (March 25th).
The first wind-related incident came in just before 2:00 pm Wednesday afternoon and HPD officers from the Ka'u Patrol along with HDOT crews responded to the scene located on Highway 11 (Mamalahoa Highway) at the 70-mile marker in Kahuku area in Ka'u. Reports came in that a large Ironwood tree had fallen across both lanes of Highway 11 forcing motorists to re-route or wait in place until crews cleared the highway. Highway 11 was reopened to traffic at 3:39 pm Wednesday afternoon. No injuries or damage to property was reported with this incident.
The second wind-related incident came in just before 5:00 pm Wednesday evening and HFD crews from the Pahala and Na'alehu Fire Stations along with HPD officers from the Ka'u Patrol, HDOT crews, and HECO crews responded to the scene located approximately 1/4 mile north of the 68-mile marker on Highway 11 in Waiohinu. Reports came in that another large ironwood tree had fallen across the roadway, bringing down utility lines and severely damaging a telephone pole as well. A handful of residents in the area reported no power and say it was in correlation to the downed utility pole/fallen tree. HPD shut down all lanes of Highway 11 and re-routing traffic to Kamaoa Road while HECO and HDOT crews worked to complete repairs and clean up. No injuries or damage was reported with this incident.
The third wind-related incident came in just before 6:15 pm Wednesday evening and HPD officers from the North Kohala Patrol along with HDOT crews responded to the scene located at the 12.5-mile marker on Highway 250 (Kohala Mountain Road) in North Kohala (just west of Kahua Ranch). Reports came in that trees had fallen across the highway creating a hazard for motorists passing through the area. HPD had temporarily closed Highway 250 between the 12 and 13-mile marker for several hours while HDOT crews worked to clear the fallen trees blocking the roadway.