Sunday, December 28, 2008

Island-Wide Blackout Fails To Dim Obama Visit

It was lights out all over Oahu Friday night. (EUGENE TANNER, Honolulu Advertiser)
President-Elect Obama has looked up some old haunts in Honolulu during his trips here in 2008. Something else he may remember from his childhood on Oahu is the relative fragility of the electric grid.

Sorry to say, Oahu’s island-wide power outages have become all too frequent. Just off the top, we can recall upwards of 10 total or near-total island-wide outages since 1980.

The December 26-27 outage is still unexplained, and our sister blog – Citizens Helping Officials Respond to Emergencies (CHORE) – asks a few questions about how a lightning strike (the presumed cause at this date) in a remote location on the island could prompt a complete shutdown of the grid.

The outage made national headlines in light of Obama’s holiday vacation here, but reports indicate his family took the disruption in stride and simply went to bed early Friday night.

As did many of us.

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