HECO sends out gift cards to customers hit by blackout

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Several thousand customers of Hawaiian Electric Co. who went without power Friday, March 4 will soon receive a $50 gift card and a letter of apology from the electricity supplier.

The customers did not have power for an extended period of time after a storm knocked down electricity poles and lines, mainly in the Ewa plain area. Later that day, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260 went on strike after contract negotiations with HECO stalled, preventing a speedy recovery of power to the grid in the effected areas.

"Some of our customers experienced especially long outages under unique and unusual circumstances during the period starting Friday, March 4. In many cases, these outages were compounded by heavy traffic. We recognize how difficult this was for our customers. We told them we know the gift cards do not make up for the disruption, but they are a small thank you for their patience and understanding," HECO spokesman Darren Pai said.

About 8,000 people lost power that day, but not all will get gift cards.

"We don't want to get into specifics, but we can say the gift cards and letters were sent to a few thousand customers," Pai said.

HECO decided who would get the letters and the gift cards based on how long the customer was without power.

Customers can call HECO at 543-4624 to request a claim form. Information is also at heco.com; click on "Residential Services," then the "Power Interruptions" link on the left.

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