POSTED: 2:50 p.m. HST, Dec 20, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 11:23 p.m. HST, Dec 20, 2010
More than 70 stores at Ala Moana Shopping Center will remain without power until at least midnight, Hawaiian Electric Co., said in a press release.
The stores, including Macy's, Shirokiya and the Apple Store, are without power for the third time in two days.
In addition to the power outage, hazardous material teams from the Honolulu Fire Department arrived at the shopping center at about 3 p.m. to investigate an odor that was disturbing shoppers around the Macy's and Shirokiya area.
Fire spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig said the backup generator the mall had been using had apparently leaked exhaust into the mall’s ventiliation system. Investigators are trying to determine the extent of the exhaust leak.
Traffic around Ala Moana Center is also jammed up thanks to the power outage. Traffic lights at intersections of Kapiolani Boulevard and Pensacola Street, Kapiolani and Keeaumoku Street and Kapiolani and Cooke Street are all out.
As of 3 p.m., there was a Honolulu police officer directing traffic at the Keeaumoku intersection, and more officers were en route to the other intersections.
Power had gone out at the stores this morning, but Hawaiian Electric Co. regained power today at the center at about 12:15 p.m.
However, at around 2:40 p.m., power was again knocked out to about 70 stores, a spokeswoman said..
"It just shut off," said William Chang of Manoa, who was looking for Christmas present ideas at the Apple Store.
HECO spokesman Darren Pai said troubleshooters are working on the issue. He could not provide a timeline on how soon electricity would be restored.
Waipio resident Ligaya Hartman was in the women's restroom at Macy's when the power went out.
"The first thing you heard was all these kids crying," Hartman said. "There were a lot of unhappy kids, then they kicked us out."
Hartman had heard on Facebook that the power was out at the mall this morning, but she decided to take a chance anyway.
"Now we're considering going to Kahala (Mall) or Pearlridge (Center)," she said.
The remaining 220 stores at Ala Moana Center were not impacted by the outage and are open as usual for the mall's normal holiday hours.
Shoppers can call Ala Moana Center's customer service at (808) 955-9517 for information on the status of the stores.