Honolulu firefighters kept busy responding to downed trees, blown roofs

A number of  homeowners had parts of their roofs blown away.

Fire crews were called to the Wong family home in Manoa Valley where overnight winds blew part of the roof from their home.

The Lum family lives up a steep flight of stairs on 10th avenue in Palolo Valley – this house, too, sustained extensive damage to the roof. Fire crews were busy there putting a temporary tarp on the roof to keep out the rain until repairs can be made.

Ironically, Henry and Alice Yamashita had contacted a roofer last week BEFORE the big wind hit.

“Yesterday afternoon some small pieces came off. In the meantime, we already got a roofer to come over to look at it. So he gave us an estimate, but we got two more roofers coming in Monday and Tuesday…to give us an estimate.” Homeowner Henry Yamashita said.

That estimate is likely going to be a bit higher now…

There were at least 16 wind-related incidents reported by late this afternoon – – nine of them affecting homes.

The National Weather Service says strong winds are not unusual for this time of year.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had that here, though.  I think the last time we had a high this strong front pass by was well over a year ago.  So that’s what makes it feel unusual although it is typical for a spring time situation.” Meterologist John Bravender said.

Some weather stations reported gusts of 60 miles an hour. The Aina Haina library solar panels took a beating – one of the panels turned completely upside down. The Hawaii Kai carnival delayed opening today until 4 in the afternoon… but the wind had the ferris wheel going all day. Homes in Palolo and Manoa took the toughest beating.

“Geography does play a big part, especially in the valleys like you were saying, wind can get funneled through there and accelerated and could cause more damage with that.” Bravender said.

The Yamashita’s have lived in their home for 24 years – they’re taking this in stride.

“Yeah, this is a great place.  What are you gonna do?” Yamashita said.

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