We were watching spectacular lightning bolts flashing across the sky the night after Christmas and remarking how it was almost like the Midwest. We very rarely saw lightning or heard thunder when I was growing up on Oahu as far as I could remember... but then again I do have a poor memory. Back in the kitchen my mother was just taking something out of the fridge after dinner when suddenly all the lights went out.
Art happened to be looking out the window when suddenly... he saw all the lights on this side of the island go out! NOT again!
However! This time we were more ready than the last time. Art put a Red Cross radio on his Christmas wish list and we had batteries for our flashlights. The radio was fantastic because we knew right away what had happened. Apparently the lightning bolts knocked out transmission lines from the Kahe and Waiau power stations and one of the safety features on the island shut off all island power except in a couple of pockets on the Leeward side. They said that because we ARE an ISLAND... sigh... we are not able to borrow electricity from another state. Therefore they said that since power could not be restored all at once it would be "A WHILE" before we would have power again. They refused to be pinned down to an exact time. "A WHILE," they repeated several times more. They did later say it could be up to twelve hours.
Happily, we noticed that our area got power back around 1:30 AM. My mother says she thinks it's because the Mayor lives in this area. I don't know if that's true. Whatever the case we happily woke up this morning to see lights on as far as we could see. I understand that other areas are still waiting and they were warning people to throw out meats and poultry from the refrigerators to be safe if it was at room temperature for more than two hours. "If in doubt, throw it out!"
And what??? No morning newspaper to read with my husband's coffee. I can't remember that ever happening before. Wow! For Art... now that's a catastrophe!
P.S. I'd like to reassure everyone that President-Elect Obama was perfectly safe in Kailua. His security people had generators and they were rushing power out to where he was staying.