Accident disrupts power

NAWILIWILI — An early morning accident yesterday shut down a shopping complex in Nawiliwili.

A piece of heavy equipment was being moved and as it passed the Anchor Cove Shopping Center, it snagged a utility line which crossed Rice Street at that point.

The resulting snag literally shattered the utility pole, toppling it in the process, and caused power outages to not only the shopping center, but to some of the residential subdivisions along Nawiliwili Road. It also caused intermittent outages to the street light at the Nawiliwili Road/Pikake Street intersection which was heavy with traffic.

According to Kaua‘i Island Utilities Cooperative spokesperson Anne Barnes, the total number of subscribers affected by the outage was not available, but she indicated that areas involved included most of Nawiliwili, Lala Road, Nawiliwili Road including the residential subdivisions of Puako, Uluko, Ulu Mahi as well as Pikake Street in the Pua Loke subdivision.

Barnes said she had indications that breakers were shut down at about 7:40 a.m.

Barnes said she had no reports that any of the schools in the area were affected by the power disruption.

Mary Daubert, Kaua‘i County public information officer, indicated at midday the power disruptions extended as far as Puhi..

“I was taking my daughter to school (at Kaua‘i High School), and when I got down to Nawiliwili Road, there were pieces of pole everywhere,” said Karl Ubongen who works at the County Clerk’s office.

Traffic was rerouted for a short while at the Lala Road intersection while workers cleared the debris from the street and a collaborative team of utility workers arrived to restore power and replace the downed utility pole.

“That line brings power to Anchor Cove, so I sent everyone home,” said Richard Jasper, an Anchor Cove manager. “We have no power to work the sewage pump, so that was the right thing to do.”

Jasper said the underground wiring for the shopping center was literally ripped out of its conduits as a result of the accident, and had no idea of when operations would resume, though the ABC Store remained open, its lights working, and customers streaming in for purchases.

“I have a honey wagon standing by to help pump because we have no electricity,” Jasper said. “But right now, everything is shut.”

Across the street Harbor Mall was beginning its daily operations, electricity flowing through its shops, and similarly at the Beach Hut, breakfast patrons lined the counters as police officers conducted their investigation of the accident, the piece of heavy equipment parked in front of the former gas station along Rice Street.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or


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