Saturday, December 27, 2008

Power cut darkens Obama's vacation island -

The Hawaiian island of Oahu, where U.S.-president-elect Barack Obama is on holiday, was plunged into darkness because of a power outage Friday night.

A civil defence official said it's possible a lightning strike on a transformer during a thunderstorm was responsible for cutting electricity to 900,000 people around 7 p.m. local time.

By early Saturday, crews had managed to restore electrical service across many parts of Oahu after the island-wide power failure.

Residents had been urged to stay home after the lights went out and to conserve water.

The Hawaiian Electric Company said by 7 a.m. local time Saturday, power had been restored to about half of its customers affected by the outage.

Obama, his wife Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha, are staying in a $9-million US single-storey oceanfront home in Kailua, north of Honolulu, the Hawaiian capital, where the president-elect grew up.

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said the rented compound has three generators and that Obama sent a message during the outage indicating he was fine and didn't need anything.

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