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Schools left without power after car downs utility pole

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 11:16 a.m. HST, Aug 1, 2011

A downed power pole on Salt Lake Boulevard and a downed tree in Chinatown closed roads during the morning commute 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 St. and Radford Drive at about 3:50 this morning causing a major headache for parents dropping off their children at the two schools located at 3200 block of Salt Lake Blvd. The downed electrical pole is across the street from the middle school.

Parents had to use Arizona Road to drop off their children. Both schools remained open, said Sandy Goya, the Department of Education spokeswoman. But the schools are without electricity, while crews repair the downed pole, Goya said.

There are 900 students at the elementary school and 700 at the middle school.

Darren Pai Hawaiian Electric spokesman, said crews are working to repair the downed pole. At some point, Pai said Salt Lake Boulevard will be contraflowed to allow traffic to travel on the road. But Pai said he did not know yet when that will happen. He also did not have information on the number of customers without power.

Pai said businesses at the Salt Lake Shopping Center also without power this morning because of a separate outage affecting 970 customers t hat began at about 8:30 a.m. He said troubleshooters are working to restore power.

Police said there were no injuries in the crash and traffic investigators did not go to the scene.

Police also closed Mauna Kea Street in Chinatown this morning when a tree fell across the road. Mauna Kea Street is closed between Nimitz Highway and Beretania Street. Police announced the closure at about 5:20 a.m.

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