City Lights, Zoo Reopen; Wind and Surf Advisories Remain Posted For Parts Of The State

Dec 20, 2019

Updated: Dec. 22, 7:35 a.m.

The Honolulu City Lights displays and Honolulu Zoo reopen Sunday after they were closed earlier because of windy conditions. The National Weather Service's wind and high surf advisories continue in effect for parts of the state.

The annual holiday lights displays were turned off Friday at city halls in Honolulu and Kapolei when high winds created a safety hazard. They reopen today during normal businesss hours, according to a city spokesman. The Honolulu display runs from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily through Dec. 29.

According to the National Weather Service, the outlook for Christmas is a wet one: breezes and locally heavy rains are forecast for Kauai and Oahu starting on Christmas Eve. These conditions subside on Thursday when the front moves over Maui County and Hawaii Island. 

Portions of Molokai, Lanai, Maui and Hawaii Island are covered by the wind advisory, which is posted until 6 p.m. Sunday. Easterly winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts of 50 mph are expected. 

Winds that strong can still cause damage, downing trees and power lines. Electrical outages may occur. Drivers of high-profile vehicles should take precautions.

A strong high-pressure system north of the islands together with a low-pressure area west of the area have been producing the strong winds that are expected to ease Sunday night.

A high surf advisory is in effect for east-facing shores of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui and the Big Island. Forecasters expect rough surf driven by strong to gale-force winds along those coastlines. The advisory will remain posted until 6 a.m. Monday. 

On Maui, the county closed the 4th Marine Division Memorial Park in Haiku on Saturday due to downed trees and strong winds. The park will remain closed until it can be cleared and made safe, the county said in a news release.

On Kauai, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources closed Kalalau Trail in the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park following flash flooding, centered at Hanakapiai Stream, which many tourists visit. Kauai County lifeguards also closed Ke'e Beach due to high surf and ocean turbulence.

State park rangers will monitor conditions before deciding when the areas affected will be reopened.

The Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative has advised residents to prepare for possible outages.

“Our staff is ready to respond should outages occur and we ask that everyone please be patient,” said KIUC President David Bissell in a news release. “Safety is a priority and we will send our troubleshooters out as weather conditions permit.”

The utility has storm preparedness tips on its website at www.kiuc.coop under the “community” tab. An outage map can also be found there.

On the Big Island, the county canceled some bus routes and all camping permits through Saturday.