After a briefing today with the National Weather Service via video teleconference at the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), Mayor Kirk Caldwell is urging O‘ahu residents and visitors to remain vigilant as a powerful low-pressure system located to the north of the state generates high winds and produces extreme surf.
As the storm tracks to the south and moves closer to the islands over the next 24 hours, forecasters say the strong sustained winds O‘ahu is currently experiencing, in addition to the extremely large surf, will continue. Anyone experiencing or witnessing an emergency should immediately call 911.
eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us)
The National Weather Service has a wind advisory in effect for O‘ahu and the rest of the state: ·
- As of 3 p.m. winds on O‘ahu were sustained at 20 to 30 mph, with localized gusts up to 50 mph. ·
- Winds are expected to become much stronger out of the west Saturday evening through Sunday night, with speeds of 20 to 40 mph and localized gusts up to 60 mph.·
- Residents in valley areas may experience even stronger wind gusts.
Residents along coastal shores should remain vigilant, especially those on O‘ahu’s North Shore: ·
- The National Weather Service has issued a high surf warning for O‘ahu and the rest of the state. ·
- Exceptionally large seas from the north and northwest will bring the potential for damaging wave run-ups. ·
- Homeowners who live on north, west and eastern shorelines should remain vigilant, and make preparations to quickly evacuate should waves begin impacting their properties.·
- Extreme harbor surges are possible through Sunday, so boaters should remain on alert. ·
- In addition, expect very large breaking waves near harbor entrances.
Residents are being asked to follow developments closely by tuning into local media via television, radio and online, and by downloading the city’s smartphone app, HNL.info, which is also available on the internet. Should the need arise for localized sheltering, the city’s Department of Emergency Management (DEM) will notify media of the locations. These locations will also be placed online on HNL.info and the city’s social media accounts.
Outdoor activities such as surfing and hiking are discouraged, as the surf currently battering O‘ahu is extremely dangerous and disorganized, and gusty winds can cause large branches or entire trees to fall suddenly.
Visitors to O‘ahu should not climb on rocky ledges located close to the ocean as they could easily be swept away by the surf. Sightseeing near shorelines exposed to the extremely large surf is discouraged, as waves will be unruly and disorganized.
As of 3 p.m. the EOC had received a handful of reports of downed trees on Bethel and Ikulani streets, Pūpūkea Road and Waimano Home Road. Emergency managers have also received reports of traffic signals malfunctioning. Intersections with malfunctioning traffic signals should be treated as four-way stops.