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Lightening strike takes out power island-wide Saturday afternoon

ASPA Satala power plant

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Amid pre-Flag Day celebrations weather conditions turned ugly this past Saturday with heavy rain, and thunder and lightening, the island suffered a power outage around 1:20p.m and many residents on the western side of Tutuila didn’t get power restored until after 5p.m.

American Samoa Power Authority executive director Wallon Young didn’t immediately respond to Samoa News’ email queries late Saturday afternoon for an official statement as to the cause of the outage, which ASPA customer service representatives said — when contacted by phone — affected the entire island of Tutuila.

ASPA posted on its Facebook page around 2p.m apologizing for the outage affecting the whole Island. “A lightning strike caused the outage and field crews are working to isolate the affected areas,” the posting says. “We are working to restore power as safely as possible with current weather conditions.”

Some residents on the East side appeared to have their power restored after 2:30p.m. but not those on the West side.

Prior to the power outage there was heavy rain as well as thunder, island wide, while many people were getting into the party mood celebrating the 2023 Flag Day celebration.

ASPA posted an update for “Power Outage & Water service on Westside of the Island” as of 5p.m on Saturday — and by that time, residents on the West side — especially the Tualauta area were slowly having their power restored.

“A lightning strike @ 1:20pm affected some generators at the Tafuna Power Plant and caused the power outage,” ASPA said in the power outage update on its Facebook page.

It explained: “The lighting hit a power pole in the Pavaiai/Futiga (Maloga) area and traveled back to the Tafuna Power Plant, taking out the power system.”

ASPA said at the time that power was being restored safely to the areas without power with the available generators while “our crews are working to repair the impacted generators so we can fully restore power.”

Water service was also impacted due to the power outage and the water crews were working to restore water service to the wells and critical water facilities.

During the power outage, several families in Tafuna/ Ottoville area reported that they were lucky to be the ones still with water.

In the meantime, due to ugly weather conditions, the parade slated for 2p.m. was cancelled and instead has been scheduled for early, early morning Monday, Apr 17th — the official Flag Day, as declared by Gov. Lemanu P. S. Mauga this past week.