An eerily yellowish-orange sky, high winds, heavy downpours and a brief blackout visited Molokai late yesterday but the island still escaped Tropical Depression Flossie with only minimal damage.
A lightning strike that hit a Maui Electric Company power plant knocked out power islandwide at 7:40 p.m. yesterday. Power was restored by 8:25 p.m.
The most severe reports came from the East End of Molokai. At Honouliwai Bay, about 21 miles east of Kaunakakai, one resident, Mailelani Naehu, said wind gusts were at least 75 mph. “… The thunder and lightning shook the earth for about an hour straight,” wrote Naehu. “The river is bursting near my home and the ocean is ferocious.” Despite the scare, Naehu’s home and property did not sustain any serious damage.
As Flossie moved northwest through the Hawaiian archipelago, it was downgraded from a tropical storm to a depression just before it hit the Big Island. It seems that the brunt of the storm hit Maui harder than the Big Island.
This line of thunderstorms was responsible for widespread outages on the island of Maui, including in Upper Olinda, from Wailuku to Kahakuloa, from Paia to Kuau, from Huelo to Hana, and along most of the East Maui coast. About 9,800 customers were initially without power.
As of 9:45 p.m. last night an estimated 4,500 Maui customers were still without power. An additional 4,000 customers were brought back online by 3 a.m. this morning. An estimated 500 customers remain without power as of 12:30 p.m. today with restoration for at least the majority of customers expected sometime today.
Workers are currently responding to small isolated outages affecting various parts of the island including Kokomo, Kauhikoa, Makawao, Kula, Waiehu, Wailuku, Kahului, Maui Meadows, and Huelo to Nahiku in East Maui.
Lightning strikes to electrical equipment and fallen trees were found to be the cause of the outages experienced over the past 24 hours.