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Blustery storm 'like a monstrous hurricane'

A large kiawe tree leans uprooted at Kapi'olani Park.

A fierce front barreled over O'ahu, Maui County and the Big Island yesterday, bringing driving rain and wind as strong as 70 mph that knocked out power to tens of thousands, downed utility lines and trees, closed nearly 100 public and private schools statewide and created a traffic nightmare for morning commuters.

"It was like a monstrous hurricane," Mililani resident Marion Poirier said. "It was one of the worst storms here I remember. It was really fierce."

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