Strong winds knock out power, down trees

The strong winds and gusts hitting the islands caused several power outages on Maui on Sunday night and Monday as fallen trees and branches hit power lines, causing customers to lose power in areas including Kihei and Lahaina.

And the winds are not expected to let up soon, as a wind advisory is in effect for Maui County until 6 p.m. today, according to the National Weather Service. Winds will be from the east and will blow 20 to 35 miles per hour with localized gusts of more than 50 mph through Wednesday, the service said.

Tree branches falling on lines along South Kihei Road caused the largest power outage on Monday, affecting 3,000 customers in Kihei. The power went out about 1:40 p.m. and was restored at 2:35 p.m., said Maui Electric Co. spokeswoman Kau’i Awai-Dickson.

The outage affected those bounded by North and South Kihei Road, Keonekai Street, Mokulele and Piilani highways, Uwapo Road and Kaiwahine Street.

Other fallen trees also affected power lines and electricity in two parts of Lahaina on Monday morning.

The first outage occurred around 6:45 a.m., when 500 customers were affected in the areas bounded by Mill, Dickenson, Wainee and Papalaua streets. Power was restored at 8:37 a.m., Awai-Dickson said.

The second outage occurred around 7:34 a.m., with 1,000 customers affected. Power was restored at 8:55 a.m. Those affected included the Wiliko Industrial Subdivision, Kenui, Baker, Wainee and Front streets, Lahaina Gateway, Lahaina Business Park and nearby areas.

On Sunday night, about 500 customers in Haiku were without power for about an hour because of a fallen tree, said Awai-Dickson.

According to the National Weather Service, at 5 p.m. Monday winds at Kahului Airport were blowing at 20 mph with gusts of 28 mph. At Kaupo Gap at 5:35 p.m. Monday, winds were blowing at 19 mph with 41 mph gusts. Data were not available for Maalaea Bay and Haleakala.

On Molokai, winds were blowing around 16 mph with gusts of 40 mph at 5:37 p.m. Monday.

The Lahaina fire crew responded to two fallen trees – one coconut and one kiawe – that were approximately 30 feet tall and blocked the west-bound lane of Ala Moana Street around 7:35 a.m. Monday, fire officials said.

A high-surf advisory remains in effect for east-facing shores of Molokai and Maui until 6 p.m. Wednesday. Surf will be in the 7- to 10-foot range with occasional higher sets, the weather service said.