STILL IN THE DARK
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Alan Schantz, left, and brother-in-law Eddie Blazynski re-create how they spent some of their time playing poker in Schantz's Aiea Heights home without electricity for nearly 34 hours.
1,000 Oahu homes endure second sunset without power
By dinnertime last night, the neighborhood at the top of Aiea Heights had been without electricity for 36 hours.
"We're going to throw away food, and we're going to file a claim for it," said Alan Schantz, of Hoapono Place. He said his is one of about 100 households in the area that faced a second night in the dark.
Schantz and his wife, Huynh Mai, are entertaining four family members from the mainland. Sunday night dinner was cooked on the outdoor grill. Last night, he said, a propane cooker would be fired up to prepare a Vietnamese stir-fry dinner with fresh ingredients from a shopping trip yesterday.
Schantz said he is not angry at Hawaiian Electric Co., but frustrated because the power came back on briefly Sunday night and again yesterday midafternoon but then went off again. He said the area is served by high power lines from Halawa Valley.
"In the past we have been blessed because we were fed from Halawa when other parts of Aiea were out of power."
"We're camping with candles," said Schantz, a civilian employee at Pearl Harbor, who spent the workday yesterday with the full benefits of electric power.
"We were bored crazy Sunday," he said. "We sat tight because they said stay out of traffic. We played cards and talked story."
When he called to check on the status of power restoration for his neighborhood, he was told there was no estimated time of completion. The HECO operator promised to send a claim form, he said.
HECO spokesman Peter Rosegg said last night that about 1,000 customers were still without power. They are "literally all over the island," including Kahala, McCully, Salt Lake, Kaneohe, Makakilo, Makaha, Waialua and Mililani. He said there were 94 HECO crew members working to restore service and some private contractor crews augmenting the force.
Rosegg said HECO considers claims to recover damages caused by a power failure, on a case-by-case basis. Claim forms are available by calling 543-4621.
But, he said, customers cannot assume HECO will pay claims. "We aren't responsible for an act of God. We don't believe we were responsible for the earthquake."