jerry's-house

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Letter To The Editor

This letter was published in the Hawaii Tribune Herald one day last week.

Pahoa, 11 September 2004

Dear Editor:

We residents of Hawaii are gambling, and the odds are not in our favor. Recent weather News from Grenada and Jamaica and Florida carries a strong message. It's a message of warning for us, and we would be wise to pay attention. Are we listening?

Early hurricane news stories always tell us how many hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands were suddenly and tragically left without electricity when the wind destroyed their power poles and power lines.

Last month when one power pole fell across one of our highways, traffic was obstructed for hours.

My friend the retired meteorologist tells me that the only reason our Big Island has not had a direct hit by a major hurricane is Pure Luck. Perhaps our luck is running out.

How will we deal with the thousands of downed power poles that will inevitably result from hurricane-force winds? How will we cope with powerlessness while we wait for the heroic linemen to repair the damage? Let's not be pessimistic, but realistic. It could happen here.

A major hurricane on the Big Island is a disaster just waiting to happen. We can avoid a large part of the trouble and prevent a large part of the damage before it happens. Let's give the overhead utility hardware a decent burial.

Representatives of our local electric company have been known to say that underground installation of their hardware is impossible due to the rocky terrain. If this is true, then why don't we see water and sewer pipes up on poles?

These are questions that should be considered seriously by the County Council, the Public Utilities Commission, Civil Defense, and the People.

/s/ Jerry Thomas
12-447 La'au Loke Street
Kehena, Pahoa, HI 96778-8001
(808) 965-7199 jerryt@interpac.net

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