Wet, wild, wintery day strikes Kaua’i

Winds and isolated thunderstorms struck the general area of Lawa’i Friday to top off another day of strong Kona winds.

Before noon, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Honolulu issued a severe thunderstorm warning for south portions of Kaua’i, for a strong thunderstorm located about 30 miles west of Lihu’e moving towards the east at 40 mph.

The warning meant that thunderstorms producing wind gusts in excess of 58 mph on the way or already occurring.

Residents were warned to move to a sturdy shelter immediately and stay away from windows. The NWS said thunderstorms can produce tornadoes with little or no advance warning.

A high wind watch for the island lasted until 4 p.m. The weather forecast for today calls for gusty northwest winds at 15 to 25 mph, and partly cloudy skies.

One of the avenue trees lining Rice Street blocks the sidewalk below the Kalena/Rice Street intersection, right, after it snapped in the high winds overnight. Across the street at Kalena Park, county public works crews cleared debris caused when several large African Tulip boughs fell into the park early Friday morning.

Corey Silva and Nathan Lemn, bottom right, of the County of Kaua’i’s public works department used chain saws and machetes to hack away at one of several large African Tulip boughs that fell on Kalena Park. Although property damage in the park was limited to to cleaning up the debris, one of the large branches fell atop the recently-completed restrooms. Public works cleanup crews were kept busy cleaning up after the winds as they were dispatched to sites as the calls came into the office. A wind screen at a construction site near Kukui Grove , below, was shredded by the winds.

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