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Power outage due to high winds in East Honolulu

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Feb 17 2013 07:01:00 PM HST

It was lights out in East Honolulu for almost five hours as Hawaiian Electric struggled to get to high voltage lines damaged by high winds.

HONOLULU -

It was lights out in East Honolulu for four and a half hours. Hawaiian Electric Company said high winds broke a piece of equipment on a transmission system, which caused the power outage.

"I came over here to go to Starbucks and now they are closed, so I am trying to find coffee, please somebody help me," said Gina Marquez.

Subway was busy since it was one of the only stores open in the Koko Marina Center. At lunch, Teddy's Bigger Burgers is usually full of customers, but on Sunday it was just a waiting game for staff members since 8:30 a.m. when the power shut off.

"There's no way we can fire up everything. We have cooking equipment but the hoods don't work so we are trying to keep our refrigerators closed," said Richard Stula with Teddy's Bigger Burgers.

And driving in search of food was a mess since traffic lights were out.

"My daughter only has a permit and we were trying to teach her that she had to stop at every light even though there weren't lights on," said Marquez.

Hawaiian Electric Company said the high winds caused the power outage from Aina Haina to Waimanalo and also created problems for the crew delaying the efforts to restore power to the area.

"In some cases we have to do inspections of the power lines that run over the mountains ranges. Unfortunately, because of the high winds up along the top of the mountains its not safe to use helicopters to use inspections, so we've had to send ground crews into those areas," said Darren Pai with Hawaiian Electric Company.

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