Severe weather, strong gusts cause havoc across Oahu

Severe weather caused several problems across Oahu Saturday.

A cold front brought wind and rain to the islands as it continues to sweep through much of the state, causing damage and even injuries on Oahu.

A large tent — measuring about 40-by-100 feet — collapsed on the Great Lawn of Kapiolani Community College around 11:30 a.m. during a science and engineering fair put on by the Board of Education. A science show and awards ceremony were set to take place in the tent.

In a dramatic home video, you can see people scrambling for cover as chairs and poles scatter across the campus lawn.

Witnesses described what happened as a freak accident. “We were noticing the wind come through and the rain come through,” said Farrington High School vice-principal Hartwell Lee Loy. “The students were screaming like it was a hurricane.”

There were students, teachers and parents under the tent when it collapsed. Student Jacqueline Nguyen escaped just in time. “I was looking back, and it was just like swaying and then fell over.”

Teacher Malcolm Cogbill said “we saw poles coming up, and we started moving kids out, and before we could get everybody out, it just collapsed on everybody.”

In all, three minors were taken to the hospital with minor injuries and were in stable condition.

Kapiolani Community College closed the campus immediately after the incident for safety reasons.

Click here for more weather-related closures and cancellations.

Elsewhere, all of Oahu was under a flash flood warning for most of the day with rain was falling at a rate of two to three inches per hour.

The Honolulu Fire Department responded to 30 weather-related incidents through the morning and early afternoon, including two blown roofs, eight downed trees, three electrical-type calls and 17 water evacuations, the latter specifically in the Aiea, Aliamanu, Hawaii Kai, Honolulu, Kahala, Kaimuki, Kaneohe, Kapolei, Mililani, Moanalua, Nanakuli, Waikiki, and Waimanalo areas.


Diamond Head Road was closed for several hours in both directions between Diamond Head Lookout and Coconut Avenue as crews cleaned up debris on the Waikiki end of the road.

Flooding and stalled vehicles were reported along Nimitz Highway in Iwilei, and a tree uprooted in the area. No one was hurt.

Rep. Matthew LoPresti sent in a photo of a downed tree that blocked two lanes in Ewa Beach. Crews were called in to clear the tree.

Photo courtesy State Rep. Matthew LoPresti
Photo courtesy State Rep. Matthew LoPresti

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