HECO to inspect Nanakuli poles
Hawaiian Electric Co. was expected to begin today an inspection of all utility poles along Farrington Highway, a company spokeswoman said.
"We have a normal inspection program," HECO spokesperson Lynne Unemori said. "Just to alleviate concerns and to be extra careful, we're going to be initiating an inspection on all poles on Farrington Highway."
On Sunday, a highly unusual wind that resembled a "tornado" to some onlookers toppled 12 utility poles across Farrington Highway in Nanakuli. The poles damaged 17 cars, injured two people and knocked out power to 1,700 customers.
HECO has not yet determined what might have contributed to Sunday's downing of the poles.
Some residents said some of the poles were termite-eaten.
"We live in an island environment and termites are part of that environment," Unemori said. "Even if there are some termites in a pole, it does not necessarily mean it's not sound."
HECO will be testing the thickness of the shell of the pole to determine its strength, soundness and whether it needs treatment and restoration. The testing is part of HECO's regular inspection program on all its utility poles.