Wind wreaks havoc on Nimitz City Mill
Mar 17, 2013 (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A gust of wind and what was described as a "small tornado" ripped a piece of corrugated metal roofing off a Honolulu hardware store Saturday afternoon.
City Mill supervisor Carlos Martinez said video surveillance showed debris flying after an 8-feet-by-20-feet piece of metal roofing flew off, scratching employees' cars, and a canopy whipped through the parking lot into Nimitz Highway.
Martinez said one City Mill worker witnessed the event while he was outside the store, and described it as a gust of wind and a small tornado.
The canopy hit power lines, causing an outage in the store and the intersection on Nimitz that lasted about 45 minutes, Martinez said.
"Thank God there were no people injured," he said. "There were customers walking (in the parking lot)."
Video surveillance showed a wheelbarrow flew and hit a car, but the customer had just left, he said.
National Weather Service lead forecaster Jeff Powell said Oahu saw winds Saturday after a weak winter cold front Friday, but said he has no knowledge of any unusual conditions, nor would he speculate what occurred at City Mill.
The weather service forecasts dry but cloudy conditions today and Monday.
Middle and high clouds will make it appear gloomy, Powell said. Nights will be warmer due to the cloud cover.
A north-northwest swell will peak early today and gradually diminish by tonight. Surf is expected to be rough and choppy, the weather service said.
A high-surf advisory will remain in effect until 4 a.m. Monday for the north shores of Oahu, Molokai and Maui and for north and west shores of Niihau and Kauai.
Surf was expected to reach 12 to 18 feet overnight Saturday on the north shores of Oahu and west shores of Niihau and Kauai.
On the north shores of Kauai and Niihau, the surf was expected to build to 15 to 20 feet.
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