Obama's Vacation: Power Returns to Oahu
By Philip Rucker
HONOLULU -- A thunderstorm knocked out power across Oahu island Friday night, crippling the island of 900,000 people and interrupting the vacations of thousands of tourists, including President-elect Barack Obama.
Electrical crews were working Saturday morning to restore power in Hawaii's most populous island, and the Honolulu mayor dispatched generators to the Kailua vacation estate where the Obama family is staying.
A cause of the outage has not been determined. The initial power outage occurred after several strikes of lightning about 6:30 p.m. Friday. Shortly thereafter, street lights outside Obama's home went dark and it appeared that his home did not have power.
On Friday night, Honolulu Mayor Rufi Hanneman sent generators and offered to send additional officers to beef up security outside the Obama compound, a spokesman for the mayor, Bill Brennan, told the Associated Press. But Obama declined the offer of added protection.
"Mr. Obama said thank you, but no, he and his family were just fine... and we're going to bed," Brennan told the wire service.
About 15 miles from Obama's home, on the bustling Waikiki Beach strip, dozens of high-rise hotels and retail stores stood without light at sunset. In search of food, mobs of holiday vacationers swarmed convenience stores, where attendants escorted them using flashlights.
"I would advise... everyone to just go to sleep," Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (R) said in a radio address late Friday.
At Honolulu International Airport, operated by emergency generators, flights were delayed by several hours and some passengers were left on airplanes for extended periods of time, according to the A.P.
December 27, 2008; 12:36 PM ET
Categories: Barack Obama
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