Events this weekend could be affected by strong winds

Forecasters say the stronger trade winds today were just the beginning of a very windy weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind watch for Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon.

“If you’ve been up to the Pali Lookout and felt the winds on a strong day, that’s probably 30-35 mph so gusting much stronger than what you feel on a windy day up at the Pali, so thats enough to really do some significant damage potentially,” said Mike Cantin, National Weather Service.

Forecasters say these wind speeds could topple tents, bring down tree branches and power lines.

So far, no big-scale public event on Oahu has been canceled yet.  But event organizers are taking extra precautions.

The Hawaii Kai Carnival kicked of tonight.

And it continues this weekend, from noon till 11 p.m. on Saturday, and noon till 10 p.m. on Sunday.

KHON2 asked if the rides can withstand the strong winds that are forecasted.

Safety officer Michael Wood replied: “Most of them are designed to be operated up to 35 mph.  35 mph obviously all the tall equipment will be shut down.  That’ll leave the children’s rides and flat rides, we’ll still continue to operate them as long as it’s not an unsafe situation for the customer.”

He says the rides are structurally designed to withstand 75 to 90 mph winds, so he doesn’t expect the winds this weekend to be strong enough to topple them over.

There are also quite a few tents set up at the carnival.

“The tents — we double staked them, and positioned some of our auxiliary support equipment in strategic positions and attached them to tents to add extra ballast,” Wood said.

And he says if at any time they think people’s safety is in jeopardy, they’ll evacuate and close the carnival.

Another event this weekend — the American Diabetes Association’s Walk to Stop Diabetes at Kapiolani Park.

“Yesterday when we had many volunteers come in, we were sure to grab extra sandbags and extra materials to secure our tents and finish and start lines,” said Leslie Lam, American Diabetes Association Executive Director.

Luckily the walk is set for tomorrow morning, before the strongest winds are expected.

“We are a bit concerned but we have faith that everything’s going to work out the sun’s going to come up and we’re going to have a great turnout,” Lam said.

There’s also a lot of private outdoor events scheduled for this weekend — weddings and birthday parties.

Just keep in mind your tents, bounce houses, and even your table settings and favors could blow away if they’re not properly tied down or weighed down.

The National Weather Service says — if you can, move your party indoors, or change it to another day.

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