Four days without power for hundreds of Aiea residents

Four days without power for hundreds of Aiea residents
Published: Sep. 24, 2014 at 1:09 AM HST|Updated: Sep. 24, 2014 at 2:57 AM HST
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AIEA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For the past four nights, Everson Kaui lights candles around his apartment when the sun goes down.

He, along with approximately 600 other residents at the Lelepono apartment complex in Aiea, have been without power since Saturday morning.

That's when the building's transformer caught fire, cutting power off to nearly 300 units.

The giant plume of smoke could be seen all the way from the Kamehameha Swap Meet.

"After about two days, all the food starts to go bad. So we've had to trash quite a bit of food," said Derek Johnson.

Kaui has been doing the same back at his apartment.

"A lot of food...we had to throw out a lot of food...maybe about $200 worth at least. Steaks, fish, I had deer meat from Molokai...ugh, I know," Kaui said.

The original plan was to have power back on after one to three days. Later, residents were told it could take up to a week. Now they're being told power could be restored by midnight Wednesday.

"The refrigerator isn't working. So I have everything packed in coolers and it's just been a nightmare," Johnson said.

A backup generator keeps just one elevator and select lights on in the 33-story building.

"With no electricity, there's been no hot water. So we've had to take ice cold showers every morning," said Johnson.

The blown transformer is only one part of the problem. On Tuesday, crews continued to make round the clock repairs to 150 feet of underground cable that got burnt and must be replaced.

Hawaiian Electric Company is assisting but says the property needs to make these repairs first before it can turn on the new transformer.

Until then, it's bags of ice and ice cold showers for Lelepono residents.

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