Garbage truck knocks out power and closes school - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Garbage truck knocks out power and closes school

Truck hits wires Truck hits wires
Makawao Street and North Kalaheo Avenue Makawao Street and North Kalaheo Avenue
Lori Eichler Lori Eichler
Eric Orinion Eric Orinion
Kathleen Dudevoir Kathleen Dudevoir

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

KAILUA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Power came back on for all of Kailua by about 4:30 in the afternoon.  Makawao Street was the last to get power restored.  That's where a garbage truck knocked down a power pole and with it electricity to a big chunk of the town. 

There's always a hustle and bustle at the start of a school day but this wasn't a typical morning at St. Anthony's School.  A garbage truck lifted a dumpster and snagged the power lines which snapped a power pole that smashed a car.

"The electric surged and then all the sudden we heard one pop. The power came back on and all of the sudden it was pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. So I walked out here saw all this and said 'oh this is going to be awhile before they get anything back up,'" said Lori Eichler, Kailua resident.

"I was at home on my computer and I heard several pops and knew it was the sound of the transformer so I knew already knew something was going on," said Eric Orinion, Kailua resident.

"I was in my classroom teaching spelling and I looked out the window across the street and I saw this wire swinging wildly and I wondered if the wind had picked up and then I saw the trash truck and realized it had probably hit the wire," said Kathleen Dudevoir, St. Anthony's School Teacher.

She got a bigger surprise upon further review.

"Yes it was my car that the wire hit. Yes I was surprised at that," said Dudevoir.

Hazmat crews checked the transformer for dangerous toxins but didn't find any.

The truck driver says he's been driving on this route for two years and picks up the dumpster at this exact location every time.  Yet for some reason this time the dumpster caught the wires. He and the passenger weren't hurt, even though they jumped out of the truck right away with the live wires still on the vehicle. 

No one was hurt nearby either.  But had it happened a half an hour earlier during school drop off it could have been a disaster.

"During our drop off because it's a one way street all of the traffic actually enters at that corner and comes down so it's very congested but we were just very fortunate everyone was in school and it happened as it did," said Bridget Olsen, St. Anthony's School Principal.  "We spoke with the emergency services here and they suggested we dismiss school. There is no danger to the children but because there will be construction on the street all day, they'll be different trucks coming up and down and there's no power that we're going to dismiss school today. The kids they're getting the day off."

"This is minor compared to what it could have been," said Dudevoir.

Class will be back in session for the 400 students Tuesday.

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