Winds to ease by Tuesday

Soggy weather conditions and blustery winds persisted in Maui County on Sunday, knocking out power to parts of Maui and Molokai, toppling trees in Upcountry Maui and triggering high-surf and wind advisories.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu issued a wind advisory for Maui County that was set to expire at 6 a.m. today.

“These gusty winds will diminish gradually by Tuesday,” the weather service said Sunday. “East winds will be 25 to 45 mph with the highest speeds over exposed upper ridges of Haleakala.”

The weather service cautioned that winds this strong have the strength to bring down tree branches, produce local power outages and make driving difficult.

Maui Electric Co. reported outages in Hoolehua on Molokai just before 9 a.m. Sunday that lasted for about an hour.

A widespread outage also was reported in West Maui around 12:30 p.m., affecting Lahaina, Launiupoko and Olowalu.

Around 1:45 p.m., downed eucalyptus trees in Makawao forced county officials to close off Piiholo Road from Makawao Avenue at the St. Joseph’s cemetery up to Waiahiwi Road. Public works crews and Hawaiian Telcom workers were dispatched to the scene to repair affected cable and phone lines. The road reopened at 3:38 p.m. Sunday, according to an announcement from the county.

The National Weather Service extended a high-surf advisory for east-facing shores of Maui and Molokai until 6 p.m. today.

Strong trade winds were expected “to keep surf very rough,” the agency said, with surf heights of 7 to 10 feet through this afternoon.

“Expect strong breaking waves, shore break and strong longshore and rip currents, making swimming difficult and dangerous,” the weather service cautioned.