POSTED: 9:58 p.m. HST, Mar 4, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 2:45 a.m. HST, Mar 5, 2011
Hawaiian Electric Co. officials are advising some 6,000 Ewa Beach customers to expect being without power overnight.
Nonunion Hawaiian Electric crews were working to restore power to the customers who have been without electricity since severe weather hit Oahu early Friday, said Darren Pai, HECO spokesman.
Crews did restore power to about 900 of 1,800 customers in the Waipahu area who also were without power.
About 900 North Shore customers in the Kuilima area who lost power earlier were restored about 6 p.m.
Hawaiian Electric work crews were working to clear all of the utility poles downed by the heavy downpour and gusty winds from Fort Weaver Road before Friday afternoon's rush hour.
By 2 tp.m., HECO crews had restored power to more than half of the 14,000 homes and businesses, mostly in Leeward Oahu, that were without power after a storm system moved over the state causing power outages and road closures across Oahu, tying up traffic for commuters from Kapolei to Waikane Friday morning.
Pai said 22 utility poles were knocked down by the rain and wind, with 15 of them along Fort Weaver road closing off the makai-bound lanes.
Pai said HECO crews hoped to restore power to the area using backup circuits.
However, Pai said that it may take another day before all of the fallen utility poles would be replaced in Ewa and other parts of the island.
Many Ewa businesses had no electricity and few customers Friday morning following a chain reaction that toppled the utility poles in the area, knocking out power and closing the makai-bound lanes of Fort Weaver Road.
Jeanette Makaena, Ewa Zippy’s manager, said the store lost power at 9 a.m. The restaurant remained open, selling what it could to the smattering of area residents making their way into the dimly lit entryway.
“We’re going to stay open as long was we can, and sell whatever we can sell,” Makaena said, as she pressed a cell phone against one ear waiting to speak to someone at HECO for word of when power would return.