By Jeff King
So, how is your weekend? It’s sunshine and balmy greezes on this President’s Day Monday. But just 40-something hours ago, a blisteringly fast cold front roared right through the middle of World Whale Day in Kihei – cutting festivities short by nearly two hours Saturday afternoon. High winds toppled trees across Maui and Moloka’i – cutting off roadway access and downing power lines. Upcountry and north shore Maui residents were particularly hard hit. At one point, more than 3,500 customers were powerless. Brief downpours Saturday afternoon in South Maui reduced visibility to near zero. Wind gusts of more than 50 mph whistled through Central and West Maui, while hurricane-force winds whipped around Mauia Kea on the Big Island.
Kaui Awai-Dickson, spokesperson for MECO reprts, “Maui Electric crews were able to restore power to all but 20 customers last night as they worked through midnight to bring customers in areas of Haiku, Wailuku, Waiehu, Kahului, Piiholo and Olinda back online.
“Crews are back in the field this morning clearing trees and debris to gain access and conduct repairs to the remaining five customers in Olinda and 15 customers in pockets of Haiku. 3,520 customers were initially impacted in Maui County by the storm that hit the islands on Friday and Saturday.
Mahalo to all of our customers for their patience and understanding.”
Afeter Sunday’s warning-level waves slammed north shores of Maui and Moloka’i – this morning that, too, is calming down. The National Weather Service has ISSUED a HIGH SURF ADVISORY for NORTH FACING SHORES of MOLOKAI and MAUI, in effect until 6:00 p.m. this evening.
The HIGH SURF WARNING is CANCELLED.
A High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing rip currents and localized beach erosion.
EFFECTS: A subsiding northwest swell will still bring advisory level surf to north facing shores of Molokai and Maui today.
Expect surf of 12 to 16 feet along north facing shores through this evening.
Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves.
IMPACTS: EXPECT STRONG BREAKING WAVES, SHORE BREAK, AND STRONG LONGSHORE AND RIP CURRENTS, MAKING SWIMMING DIFFICULT AND DANGEROUS.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: BEACHGOERS, SWIMMERS, AND SURFERS SHOULD HEED ALL ADVICE GIVEN BY OCEAN SAFETY OFFICIALS AND EXERCISE CAUTION.
INFORMATION: Maui Civil Defense Agency will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather broadcasts for any updates. NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025 FREE. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.
Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200.