Wind causes power outage in Hawaii Kai, delays fix

Wind causes power outage in Hawaii Kai, delays fix

HAWAII KAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Approximately 4,300 customers in East Honolulu were without power for four-and-a-half hours Sunday.

Hawaiian Electric Company said the power went out around 8:30 a.m. Electricity was restored shortly before 1 p.m. HECO said the exact cause of the outage was still under investigation, but was wind-related.

An area stretching from Kalani High School into Kalama Valley and parts of Waimanalo were affected by the outage, which included the Hawaii Kai Town Center and Koko Marina Shopping Center.

Emergency Medical Services says Hanauma Bay was also affected by the outage and would remain closed for the rest of the day.

Some residents used the time to head outdoors.

"Went out to each, power went out, so the kids can't stay inside," said Michael Livingstone, who was at the Hawaii Kai dog park with his family. "Can't watch TV, can't play with the computer and they're sick of reading, so (I) brought them out here to run around with the dog. Play around with the other pets all day, you know?"

The wind also made it hard to HECO crews to restore power. "In some cases, we need to do some inspections of the power lines that run over the mountain ranges," said utility spokesman Darren Pai. "Unfortunately, because of the high winds around the tops of the mountains, it's not safe to use helicopters to conduct those inspections."

Meanwhile, it was no surprise that the Pali Lookout was even windier than usual, with visitors blown about by sustained winds estimated at 50 to 60 miles per hour.

Having the strong winds isn't out of the ordinary, according to the National Weather Service. "It's sort of a spring-like pattern," said lead forecaster Tom Birchard. "It's a little bit early, but it's not that unusual for this time of year. Maybe we'd see strong trades like this in March and April."

Birchard said the strong winds -- and the problems they cause -- could blow into next weekend.

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