Saturday, July 26, 2014         

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Fourth blackout strikes Ala Moana

The 7 p.m. outage lasted about an hour and was limited to Macy's and Sears

By Star-Advertiser staff


Power went out again briefly last night at Ala Moana Center at the height of the holiday shopping season.

It was the fourth time in as many days, causing consternation among shoppers and beleaguered store managers just days before Christmas.

The outage started just before 7 p.m. and was limited to Macy's and Sears.

While a few customers waited outside the stores hoping for a quick reopening, others waded back into the shoulder-to-shoulder flow of shoppers moving back and forth across the mall.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said power was restored around 8 p.m.

HECO spokesperson Darren Pai said the cause was a short-circuit in an underground cable. He said he could not be sure whether it was related to the weekend downpour.

Portions of the mall were without electricity Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Heavy rain Sunday triggered a flashover at HECO's Makaloa substation and a fire that knocked out power to Ala Moana Center, the Neal Blaisdell Center and nearby condominiums and businesses.

Following Sunday's fire, Ala Moana was running on a backup circuit, but that short-circuited at about 7:30 a.m. Monday, cutting off service to stores on both ends of the mall.

HECO crews used another backup circuit to return power at 1 p.m. Monday, but it blinked out again at about 2:15 p.m.

HECO restored power to 52 businesses at Ala Moana shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday.

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