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60-foot waves possible after strong storm brings snow to Hawaii

Hawaii winter storm makes dangerous waves

A potent winter storm lashing Hawaii has toppled trees onto cars, sent waves washing onto roadways and triggered widespread power outages, CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB-TV reports. The storm could trigger waves as high as 60 feet, forecasters said. And it even brought snow.

The National Weather Service says gusts hit nearly 70 mph in some areas, and the agency is warning of more coastal flooding. A high-surf advisory was in effect for north- and west-facing shores of several islands.

Surf on north and west-facing shores was expected to grow to anywhere from 40 to 60 feet, KGMB-TV said.

Giant waves from Hawaii winter storm crash onto Sunset Beach, Oahu, on Feb. 10, 2019 KGMB-TV

"This wave event is on another level. Super super dangerous. Water is washing over the road in several places. It's a weather event and a wave event that some people have never seen in their lifetimes," Honolulu lifeguard Bryan Phillips said.

Snow isn't unheard of in mountainous parts of the tropical island chain, but officials say this storm's coating at 6,200 feet at a state park on Maui could mark the lowest-elevation snowfall ever recorded in the state.

From midnight to 4 p.m., firefighters on Oahu alone responded to some 112 wind-related calls, from blown roofs to downed trees to arcing power lines.

Powerful gusts from storm toppled huge trees onto cars in Hawaii on Feb. 10, 2019; these are in Hanalei, Kauai KGMB-TV

And at least two people were injured.

On Sunday morning, a man was seriously hurt when a utility pole came crashing down onto his vehicle. Later in the day, a woman broke her foot when a tree fell in Waikiki.

The strong winds also knocked out power to tens of thousands of people throughout the day. One of the largest outages — on the Big Island — was resolved within several hours.

Oahu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the city's response was "all hands on deck."

Hiro Toiya, director of the city Department of Emergency Management, said everyone should use extra caution until the storm is gone.

Two ground hornbill birds escaped from the Honolulu Zoo after the storm damaged their enclosure. They were still on the loose early Monday.

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