- Associated Press - Saturday, January 3, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - A powerful storm blew through the Hawaiian islands downing trees and power lines and causing damage throughout the state.

Thousands of Maui residents were without power Saturday afternoon after the storm rushed through the night before. The National Parks Service closed the summit of Haleakala on Maui after toppled trees and a landslide blocked an entrance to the park.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (https://bit.ly/1tIqecC) police and firefighters on Oahu were busy Friday night responding to calls about downed trees and fallen power lines in Honolulu. Several roofs were blown or damaged on Oahu’s windward side. Over a five-hour period starting at Friday afternoon, repair crews responded to nine significant outages on Oahu, most of which were resolved in about an hour.

A brown water advisory was issued for Waimea Bay on Oahu. Residents and visitors were encouraged to stay out of the flood waters, which could potentially be contaminated by overflowing cesspools or sewer manholes, pesticides and dead animals. The state Department of Health warned that turbid runoff waters have been known to attract sharks.

On Hawaii’s Big Island, the American Red Cross provided financial assistance and emergency help to two families whose homes were destroyed in Pahoa and Mountain View. The organization had opened a shelter for Hilo residents affected by high winds Friday night, but closed the shelter when the weather improved Saturday morning. A number of roads were closed due to fallen trees.

The Red Cross also is following up with two families in Maui County whose homes sustained damage.

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