Power pole installation raises safety concerns for residentsUPDATED 11:46 PM HST Jun 18, 2013Video Transcript
day... Tonight a closer look at what is shaping up to a battle of David and some true Goliaths on Oahu, This is no tall tale. It's about tall power poles that could go up in YOUR neighborhood one day. KITV4's Catherine Cruz has an exclusive look at this neck-craning battle. Colin Davis remembers vividly the day things changed for him last year. - Colin Davis 21:05 21:10 "We left for the day and came home to find a 60 foot pole obscuring our view," This is a shot of his view of Kaneohe Bay before he left home that fateful day. THIS is what he is living with now. Davis wasn't sure what to do. Could he take on the electric giant? He's trying! Hawaiian Electric says it's aggressively investigating the safety of 70 thousand poles across the island. - Darren Pai 2;11- 2:24 -"The existing poles were installed in the 1959's The consturctions and safety standards were different then and when we did the pole replacement today, the poles were taller and needed to be that way to meet the current standards," Pai says the pole heights vary from 35 to 70 feet. But the standards do NOT say how high the poles must be. - Darren Pai 4; 07 - 4:19 - "They have to look at whether there are other utitlities wihch have their lines attatched to the pole like telephone and cable tv, what is the weather in the area what is the terrain what is the vegetation like So, there is a lot that goes into it." Davis learned he could plead his case before the Public Utilities Commisison. He is hoping for a waiver and a shorter pole. - CRUZ 32:38-38:45 - "But this isnt just one homeowners fight. Davis says Life of the Land and the Outdoor Circle have asked to intervene in the case" And what the PUC decides could set precedent for every other homeowner. - Davis 22: 24 - 22:38 - "The docket that was opened is not one pole, but influences wood pole in residential areas on Oahu so it is a very broad investigation," - Davis 22 47- 22:57 "The ruling in this case will determine how people in the future will be able to respond and if the waiver will be granted and under what terms and conditions" And Davis questions whether a taller 60 or 70 foot pole is really safer in hurricane force winds. Down the street one of his neighbors worries about the current poles carrying high voltage lines - John Jenkins 757-8:00 -"There is someting wrong with the poles.They are leaning and they are starting to dryrot." The Outdoor Circle says it is encouraged that the PUC decided to take a broader view with this one complaint. The decision in the case will set the tone on the relationship between residents and the power company and the concerns about view planes going forward.