Island wide power outage leaves Oahu in the dark - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Island wide power outage leaves Oahu in the dark

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Dave Weil of Wahiawa submitted this photo of a lightning strike near his home Friday evening Dave Weil of Wahiawa submitted this photo of a lightning strike near his home Friday evening

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Rare Hawaii thunderstorms caused an island wide power outage on Oahu at around 6:45 PM Friday night as after-Christmas sales were in full swing and the vacationing President-elect of the United States wrapped up a day of sightseeing. A spokesperson for Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) along with Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann reported around 9:00 PM Friday that electricity would be out for most of the island of Oahu for 12-24 hours.

At 6:30 PM Friday night a thunderstorm caused an interruption in power which shut down all but one of HECO's power generating stations.  Early reports indicated that Makakilo and Nanakuli were spared from the blackout but at around 8:30 PM the Kahe power plant went offline, leaving all of Oahu in the dark.

At around 10 PM Friday night, power began to come back online sporadically in leeward areas. Overnight, crews restored power gradually across the island, and by 9:45 AM Saturday morning HECO reported that 198,000 customers had been brought back online, more than two-thirds of the island. 

Mayor Hannemann reported at 10:10 PM that he had been in contact with President-elect Obama's staff and that the president-elect and his family were holding up well and were getting ready to go to bed. Obama is vacationing in Kailua. Governor Linda Lingle told KSSK radio that HECO had offered backup generators to the president-elect but was not able to confirm late Friday night that the generators had been delivered.

Honolulu International Airport had it's power restored around 3:00 AM Saturday morning.

Police are asking residents to use 911 service for  emergencies only.  Avoid travel but if you must drive, treat all  intersections as a four-way stop.

Water supply officials urge all residents to conserve water. Hospitals are operating under emergency power.