Tuesday, January 30, 2001
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Posted on: Tuesday, January 30, 2001

Power failure hits North Shore

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaiian Electric Co. crews last night were investigating the cause of a power failure that knocked out service to the nearly the entire North Shore of Oahu.

Nearly 3,500 customers from Wahiawa to Waialua and down the coast to Hauula were without power from 7:06 p.m. Work crews began restoring power to most areas by 7:47, but the 1,500 customers in Waialua remained in the dark until 8:05.

HECO spokesman Fred Kobashikawa said the failure may have been caused by a transformer at the Waialua substation.

But he said an investigation was under way to determine the exact cause.

Not everyone on the North Shore was without electricity last night. Kobashikawa said there were pockets of areas, such as at the Turtle Bay Hilton, which did not see a interruption in service.

But Kobashikawa said there is no favoritism involved in supplying or restoring power.

"It’s just the way things are connected," he said. "We set up the distribution system so the areas are staggered. So there are some areas that may be out, while others aren’t affected."

Much of Schofield Barracks was without electricity. At the base’s Shoppette 1 convenience store, manager Yvonne Chilson had to close for about an hour until the power was restored.

"When something like that happens, for the safety of everybody, we just close, especially at night," Chilson said.

She said about 10 customers were in the store when the lights went out and they were asked to put down their merchandise and leave.

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