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Power back on at Windward Mall

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

LAST UPDATED: 08:28 p.m. HST, Feb 25, 2012

A weekend tree-trimming project gone awry closed Windward Mall and left about 2,000 other Hawaiian Electric customers in Kaneohe without power for over an hour this afternoon.

Power was restored to the mall and all but about 50 customers by about 3 p.m., HECO spokeswoman Jan Miller said.

Just before 1:45 p.m., Thomas Cormack and a friend were cutting branches from a plum tree in a wooded area next to a stream bed behind his Koolau Village Apartments unit on Kamau Place when his friend accidentally sawed a branch that fell onto power lines that run behind the housing complex.

The pull against the lines was so strong that it snapped a utility pole several hundred yards away at Kamau Place and Kealahala Pace.

Cormack declined to identify his friend because he didn’t want to embarrass him, but noted it was an honest mistake.

“We were trying to clear the area because of mosquitoes and stuff,” Cormack said. “I guess he misjudged the branch.”

Cormack said he’s most relieved that his friend, who is not a resident of the complex, was uninjured.

“It was like fireworks,” he said. “Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Was real dangerous! He coulda got killed.”

Cormack, who took it upon himself to inform neighbors in the 80-unit Koolau Village housing project that they’d be without power for a while, said he’d already been yelled at by some of them.

Treston Torres-Sheldon, 16, was playing dodge ball outside with several friends when he heard loud booms and felt the ground shake below him. He said he and his friends ran toward the accident site and saw smoke and sparks of different colors. “It was scary.”

Kaneohe police reported responding to numerous traffic signal outages and other outage-related problems.

A Windward Mall merchant said stores were told by mall security to close their shops about 1:45 p.m. 

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bamboo_man wrote:
Mosquitoes vs a mans life, next time call the professionals.
on February 25,2012 | 06:59PM
kona1069 wrote:
The headlines should've read "Stupid people of the day". Thomas Cormack and his friend better pay for the damages they created and HECO better not hike up everybody else's electric bill for someone's stupidity. Good for him, getting yelled at by neighbors. And the other idiot thing was the kids running toward the accident site where sparks from the electric pole occurred. All because of mosquitoes, AUWE!
on February 25,2012 | 07:24PM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
I wonder how much revenue Windward Mall merchants lost because of this mishap. Will the tree cutters be liable for that loss?
on February 25,2012 | 07:36PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
2 idiots with a saw huh.... I hope they send him the bill for repairs.
on February 25,2012 | 08:24PM
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