Kona weather whips up wind

Just when the fireworks rubbish from New Year’s Eve was all swept up, the year’s first kona storm hit Friday night and all day Saturday leaving leaves and tree branches littering neighborhood streets, and nearly a hundred Kaua’i residents experiencing weather-related power outages.

High surf and wind advisories from the National Weather Service continued to be issued through Saturday night.

The gusty kona winds have caused trees to fall across power lines and the Kaua’i Island Utilities Cooperative is continuing to receive calls from locations across the island, including Kapa’a, Niumalu, Kilauea, Kekaha, Lawa’i and Wailua.

From 6:40 a.m. to about 5 p.m. Saturday, the KIUC received more than 80 power outage calls. KIUC troubleshooters, of which there are four on staff, responded to 13 incidents Saturday afternoon.

One power outage that may have been indirectly caused by weather, was an auto accident around midnight Friday. A downed utility pole along Kawaihau Road near Mahelona Hospital caused outages in the Kapa’a area.

Customers without power for an extended period can receive an update through the KIUC’s power interruption hotline at 246-8283.

The National Weather Service’s high surf warning for northwest facing shores of all islands is still in effect. Kaua’i and O’ahu are expected to receive 25-35 foot surf today.

The National Weather Service also stated that 50-60 mph gusts are expected to weaken to 15-25 mph by today.

From 5 p.m. Friday to the same time Saturday, National Weather Service rain gauges reported about a tenth of an inch of rain in ‘Oma’o, Wainiha, Wailua and Kalaheo; and almost a half-inch in Koke’e.

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