POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 2, 2011
A downed power pole on Salt Lake Boulevard and a toppled tree in Chinatown closed roads during the morning commute Monday and left students and teachers without power at Aliamanu Middle and Elementary schools on the first day of classes.
Police closed Salt Lake Boulevard in both directions between Ala Lilikoi Street and Radford Drive at about 3:50 a.m., causing a major headache later in the morning for parents dropping off their children at the two schools on the 3200 block of Salt Lake Boulevard. The downed electrical pole is across the street from the middle school.
Parents had to drive on Arizona Road to get their children. Both schools remained open, said Sandy Goya, state Department of Education spokeswoman.
But the schools went the day without electricity while crews repaired the pole, Goya said.
There are 900 students at the elementary school and 700 at the middle school.
Darren Pai, Hawaiian Electric Co. spokesman, said crews would be working overnight to do repairs but that the job should be finished by this morning.
Pai said businesses at Salt Lake Shopping Center also were without power Monday morning because of a separate outage affecting 970 customers. It began at about 8:30 a.m. There are 25 stores, markets, two financial institutions and restaurants in the 87,000-square-foot complex.
Police also closed Maunakea Street in Chinatown Monday morning for a few hours after a tree fell across the road.