Prepare for strong gusts, north swell on Thanksgiving


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Strong gusts up to 60 mph and a windy Thanksgiving is what the National Weather Service is expecting, and it’s asking the public to stay prepared as they celebrate this holiday.

“There could be damage that could be tree branches down, houses might lose shingles; but it’s particularly any outdoor events that you might be doing that we want people to be aware of the strong winds and adjust their plans accordingly,” said John Bravender, National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist.

Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You

Hawaiian Electric has staff in some areas working from midnight to respond to emergency calls of downed trees or powerlines.

“We ask that people stay at least 30 feet away from any downed power lines,” said Shannon Tangonan of Hawaiian Electric. “Always assume that they’re energized and dangerous. So you just want to make sure that people stay away.”

Ocean safety officials say conditions on the North Shore of Oahu look good Wednesday with friendly-sized waves; but come Thanksgiving day, it’ll be a different story. They’re urging beachgoers to be extra careful.

“If you’re inexperienced, we’d like everyone to stay away from the oceans, stay up on dry sand, and come talk to us about the hazards,” said Sean Wolff, Ocean Safety Lifeguard. “The ocean can go very calm and look like there’s nothing going on and then all of a sudden we get large sets of waves that will come up very high onto the beach and easily sweep people into the ocean especially small children, the elderly or anyone caught off guard.”

It’s not just the north swell to be prepared for. The National Weather Service says the highest tides of the month will occur just before dawn over the next two days and water could wash onto roads.

Get news on the go with KHON 2GO, KHON’s morning podcast, every morning at 8

“If you go out during the morning, make sure the roads are clear. Make sure they’re safe and that there hasn’t been any damage that occurred during those high tides overnight,” Bravender said.