Light pole comes crashing down in Waipahu

Photo by: Jan Rosario

Waipahu residents are breathing a sigh of relief after a close call with a light pole.

A city light pole came crashing down on Opeha Street Monday afternoon, narrowly missing cars.

Opeha Street is a quiet residential street in the Village Park neighborhood.

Hazel Leuma said at about 2:20 p.m. she heard a loud noise outside.

A gust of wind had knocked over her neighbor’s garbage bin.

“And then a few seconds after, I heard this big crash.  I was wondering what it was and when I came outside the pole was just landed this way diagonally,” said Leuma.  “I was scared because usually my kids will walk home but then I usually walk them home and a lot of our neighbors their kids come home at 2:20.”

And believe it or not, her car had been parked right where the top of the pole had landed, just five minutes earlier.

“At about 2:15 my dad was like the kids are out of school.  So I told him well I’m on the phone so can you please go pick them up,” Leuma said.  “We’re just glad none of our kids got hurt.”

“Gosh darn the wind was big enough to take her down finally,” said Leuma’s neighbor Calvin Yee.  “It’s been rusty and corroded for about 10 years now.”

He said it likely got that way because the neighborhood dogs often marked their scent on that particular pole.

He’s thankful no one got hurt.

“I guess we could’ve called it in and they could’ve replaced it sooner,” Yee said.

City crews hauled away the pole late Monday afternoon.

“And now we’re hoping they can come and check all the other poles,” Leuma said.

Upon first glance, none of the other poles on Opeha Street appear to have rust at the base.

The city does not routinely inspect all of the city’s light poles across the island.

But if you notice a light pole in your area is rusty or looks like it needs repairs, call the Department of Facility Maintenance to let them know about the problem: (808) 768-3343.

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