By : Minna Sugimoto
(KHNL) -- Strong winds are being blamed for a power outage that affected thousands of Hawaiian Electric customers in East Oahu Thursday. HECO says the electricity went out from Niu Valley to Hawaii Kai at about 11:30 a.m.
Jonathan Killian grabs a mop and tries to keep busy. When you work at an ice cream parlor, where cool treats must stay cool, a power outage is the last thing you need.
"When it happens, you just got to like not open any of the freezers or anything, try to keep all the cold air as much as possible in the freezers," the Bubbies employee said.
Killian is not alone. Hawaiian Electric says 6,200 businesses and homes in Hawaii Kai lost power, after both of the 46,000-volt transmission lines that feed the area tripped out.
"I actually have to cook Tapioca for our bubble drinks in the morning, so I was just getting that ready," Killian said. "And then, all of the sudden, the power just clicked off and it went dark."
HECO believes wind gusts triggered the outage. Along Kalanianaole Highway, the winds whip tree branches and knock over some portable toilets set aside for the Honolulu Marathon.
"I might as well just get some work done," Killian said.
Back at the ice cream shop, Killian continues mopping between turning customers away.
"It's unfortunate because I have to tell them that I really can't serve them because I can't open the freezers," he said.
HECO says the first transmission line was damaged, and shut down at about 5 a.m. But you probably didn't notice because customers were automatically transferred to the second line.