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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, May 11, 2006

Power cut off in Pacific Palisades

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaiian Electric Co. crews worked into the night yesterday to restore power to Pacific Palisades residents after a utility pole snapped, causing an extensive outage.

About 1,900 customers lost electricity at about 10 a.m. yesterday when a pole broke and brought down three power lines. The pole was in a remote area on the side of the mountain below Palisades, making it difficult to reach, said HECO spokesman Jose Dizon.

To complicate matters, Dizon said, the electrical wires appeared to be tangled deep in the valley. He said crews were expected to work through the night and hoped to restore power by 6 this morning.

"With night approaching, our goal is to replace that one pole and then we're going to see if we can lift the lines up and see if they are indeed tangled," Dizon said yesterday afternoon.

With the help of a helicopter, a new pole was in place by 5:30 p.m. and crews began to untangle the lines.

"When they started lifting the lines, they weren't as tangled as we feared," Dizon said. Still, the work was expected to last until early this morning.

What led to the pole snapping is under investigation, but Dizon said one of three guy wires that support the pole may have broken and caused uneven tension on the pole, causing it to snap at the top.

Edgar Hanohano, pastor of Palisades Community Chapel, said yesterday's outage affected his workday.

"I needed to get some information faxed to our headquarters on the Mainland and I was going to do that (yesterday). But I couldn't," Hanohano said.

He added that he usually runs a Bible school at night, but said the church is on a two-week break.

"So this really isn't affecting us that much," Hanohano said.

It was not known how the outage will affect classes today at Palisades Elementary School. Greg Knudsen, Department of Education spokesman, said he did not know whether classes will be canceled if power is not restored.

Residents who disposed of food because of the outage and wish to file a claim should contact HECO's claims department at 543-4624.

Reach Curtis Lum at culum@honoluluadvertiser.com.