The Little Storm That Could


Special to the Windward Islander

It’s hard to believe this happened in Hawaii. At about 6 a.m. March 9, I awoke to the sound of hailstones pounding on my roof. I went outside to look but it was too dark to see the stones.

Soon the rains came. As they got heavier, the winds began to swirl. This went on for a good half hour, but eventually the sounds quieted. As this strange quiet filled our downstairs apartment, my three cats seemed to disappear. Then I noticed rain water on the bathroom and laundry room floors.

After closing the windows, I began to mop up the water. Suddenly there appeared a bright light. The winds blew harder than I’d ever experienced, and the sound was deafening. Then without warning, “it” was upon me. The sensation was as though the house was being lifted up, and in that instant my only thought was “duck!” I fell to the floor by the side of our clothes dryer and began praying for the Creator to spare me. A brightness lit the sky with a never previously experienced light. The sound was the grating of static electricity … like turning up a television’s static screen some 20 times louder than it can normally go.

Seconds lasted an eternity, but it eventually dwindled away. It soon felt safe to get up and check my surroundings. First, I checked on my mother, then walked outside to see other neighbors reluctantly peering through their doors.

The neighbor across the street lost most of his home’s roof. His shingles flew into many yards and were strewn onto the street. The telephone and electric wires were blown down from the outside of his house and landed in my next-door neighbor’s yard. He stated that he would have to get in touch with a local service specializing in gutter and roof installation. You can read more about a service similar service here. That wasn’t the only destruction that happened either.

Trees smashed into cars; windows were broken, and shattered glass was everywhere.

Fortunately for me, I was able to close the laundry room windows just moments before the tornado hit. I “shutter” to think of what could have been.

We found out a short time later that the tornado was seen in the waters off of Lanikai Beach. It traveled between Na Mokulua then onto land, where it went over the Lanikai/Keolu mountain then down to Keolu Hills. It had already damaged some Lanikai properties, but the damage stopped until it touched down on Hele Street, then Liku Street, where I live. Then the damage began anew. Fortunately no one was killed, and injuries were minimal. It was quite an experience. Even my mother, an Ohioan, had never experienced a tornado until that day.

Yes, it was a pretty bad storm.