After landing at Honolulu International, I joined Mom and two of my brothers for lunch at the Mini Garden
. Yes, it's a bad habit but an enjoyable one, like many bad habits are. Offering to take Mom back to her assisted living apartment in Hawaii Kai
, I envisioned that it would be a quick trip at two o'clock, well in advance of rush hour.
|At the Mini Garden |
Something was amiss. The street lights were off, making a left turn from eastbound Kalanianaole Highway into Hawaii Kai hazardous. In Northern California, where power outages are the new normal, we are very familiar with the rule that intersections with non-functioning lights are to be treated as four-way stops.
In Hawaii not everyone knows the rule; some cars, assuming they had the right-of-way, barreled through at 45 MPH while other lanes came to a stop. As I said, hazardous.
Arriving at the assisted living facility, we learned of the power outage
that affected East Oahu.
A tree that fell on power lines knocked out electricity to thousands of customers across east Oahu on Wednesday.
HECO said the outage started about 1 p.m., and affected customers from Hawaii Kai to Waimanalo.
Some 13,000 customers were affected initially, and electricity was restored in waves.
By 5:30 p.m., all but a few pocket outages remained.
The only way to get to Mom's apartment was via one of three elevators, all useless. I waited with Mom in the lobby for the next three hours until the elevators came back on. (She was actually safer than the residents stuck upstairs, who would be in a bind if there were a fire or other emergency; most of them use walkers and wheelchairs.)
1) This is a good wake-up call for the assisted living facility; evacuation protocols when the power is out were non-existent.
2) Trouble Follows Me Dept.: having escaped the PG&E shut-offs, I ran straight into one on my first day in Hawaii. Luck and life can turn on a dime.
3) Sodden thought; if it weren't for trees there would be no wildfires or power interruptions in Northern California, or trees falling on power lines in Hawaii. Go ahead and love them, but with eyes open.