HECO Works to Fix Downed Lines Along Farrington Hwy

Traffic backed up along Farrington Highway on Monday.
Traffic backed up along Farrington Highway on Monday.

(KHNL)  Officials with Hawaiian Electric say even though a dozen power poles along Farrington Highway have been replaced, the work there isn't done yet.

"This was a major concern for the people out here, both from the standpoint for the loss of power and the traffic issues, and we appreciate their hanging in there with us," said Chuck Freedman, HECO's vice-president of corporate relations.

The dozen poles were knocked down Sunday afternoon, smashing a couple of cars, and knocking out power to 1,400 customers.

Power was restored to all, except 450 customers, whose power should be restored by Monday evening.

After the HECO crews are done, crews from the phone and cable companies must also complete repairs.

"We're trying to balance the two balls," said Freedman. "One is taking care of the system and getting the electricity phone and cable back up. The other is helping with the traffic issues which are huge out here."

The poles shutdown the highway between Helelua Street and Lualualei Naval Road. Kolekole Pass was opened to the public for parts of the day.

In the morning, two lanes of Farrington Highway were opened for those going in and out of the Waianae area. Officials would also open the dirt road next to the beach for access.

The cause is not known, but those who live in the area say it was very windy Sunday afternoon.

Freedman says the many of the poles were just replaced about 3 years ago, and can withstand winds of up to 80 miles per hour. He says a more extensive review will be done later, but right now that is not their main concern.

"The focus in the last day has been recovery," he said. "Clear the road. Get the system back up. Work safe."