Categorized | Featured, Hurricane, News, Weather

Iselle: Updates for Aug. 21, 2014

UPDATED (8:56 p.m.on 8/21/2014)

Hawai‘i Electric Light warns customers about scams

Hilo, Aug. 21, 2014, 6 p.m. – Hawai‘i Electric Light Company has been informed of scams targeting Hawai‘i Island customers in the wake of Tropical Storm Iselle.

Customers reported receiving telephone calls from someone claiming to be a Hawai‘i Electric Light claims representative. The customers were asked to provide their social security number.

Hawaiʻi Electric Light wants to remind customers that the utility will not contact customers to request personal information or direct customers to submit payments via options other than those listed on the back of the billing statement.

For your safety and protection:
· Never provide personal, confidential or financial information to an unidentified individual.
· Ask questions or ask for proper identification. Request the individual’s name, company name, and phone number.
· Be cautious when responding to callers from an unidentified phone number. Phone scammers want to remain anonymous.
· Be aware that today’s technology can be used to mask the caller’s phone number and the caller ID could indicate the call is originating from Hawai‘i Electric Light, even though it is not.
· Report any suspicious activity to local police.

To obtain a claim form, please visit one of our customer service locations in Hilo, Waimea or Kona or visit our website at www.hawaiielectriclight.com.

UPDATED (11:46 AM on 8/21/2014)

Power restoration update from Hawai‘i Electric Light

Hilo, Aug. 21, 2014, 11:45 a.m. – Electric service has been restored to approximately 300 customers in Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots who have been without power following Tropical Storm Iselle. At this time, more than 99 percent of Hawaiʻi Island customers now have power.

An estimated 800 customers remain without power. Nearly all of these customers are in Nanawale Estates, where electrical line crews are focusing their efforts and expect to make more progress today.

The storm caused extensive damage in that area, with many streets impacted by fallen trees, downed power lines and damaged utility poles. Tree-trimming and construction crews have been working in those areas to clear roads and dig holes for poles, so electrical line crews can move in and work safely and efficiently.

In the interests of safety, crews will complete repairs before restoring power to the subdivision. Restoration progress may be impacted by access due to storm debris, fallen trees, or other conditions in the field.

“We understand how hard it’s been for these customers who have been without power for such a long time. We assure them that we we’re committed to restoring service to all of our customers,” said Darren Pai, Hawai‘i Electric Light spokesman.

Customers in other areas who are still without power should report their outage by calling 969-6666.

Utility crews are working with the county and other agencies to clean up storm debris and damaged utility equipment. As a safety precaution, customers are reminded not to touch or move any fallen poles, lines or other utility equipment.

Electrical line crews are also continuing to work on smaller outages in the following areas: Hawaiian Paradise Park, Leilani Estates, and Lanipuna Gardens. In addition, tree-trimming and hole-digging crews are continuing to work in Hawaiian Acres, Lanipuna Gardens, Mauna Loa Estates, Nanawale, Pohoiki Road, and Volcano.

Although crews have made good progress, it could still take another two weeks – and in some cases, even longer – to restore power to the areas with the most significant damage. Actual restoration times for each location will depend on the extent of the damage.

Customer Information Center in Puna

Hawai‘i Electric Light’s Customer Information Center is at the Leilani Estates Community Center at 13-3441 Moku Street in lower Puna. Operating hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The center will close after Friday, Aug. 22. After the center closes, customers may call 969-6666 for status updates.

Until then, company representatives will be on hand to answer questions from the public and provide the status of repairs. Free Wi-Fi access and a charging station will also be available at the center. Customers may bring their electronic devices to the center and get them charged there.

Electrical Safety

Hawai‘i Electric Light urges the public to remember these important safety tips:

  • Do not approach any downed power lines, as they may have electricity running through them and can be dangerous. If you see someone injured by a downed power line, do not approach them and call 9-1-1 for assistance.
  • Use generators outdoors and away from flammable materials. Generators connected directly to your home may feed excess electricity back into power lines, creating a public safety hazard. Plug appliances directly into your generator, using extension cords.
  • Unplug unnecessary and sensitive electronic equipment. Use high-quality surge suppressors for electric appliances that remain plugged in.
  • Use batteries to power flashlights and lanterns. Do not use candles or other flammable fuel sources, as they are fire hazards.
  • Be aware of trees and utility poles that were weakened by storm winds and have the potential for falling.
  • Anyone who is without power and who is dependent on electric-powered life support medical equipment should make arrangements to go to an alternate location with power. They should bring their medical equipment and medications with them. They should also stay in contact with their medical equipment supplier for any special equipment needs.

Albizia trees amongst the utility lines in Hawaiian Beaches. Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

Albizia trees amongst the utility lines in Hawaiian Beaches. Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

Hawaii County Civil Defense Community Update

This is a civil defense message.

This is a Community Assistance information update for Thursday August 21st at 6:30 am.

Utility crews continue to work on restoring power and telephone services. Due to unique and special circumstances some areas may take longer to have services restored. Significant improvements have been made with these efforts and everyone is thanked for their patience and understanding.

Ice distribution is being coordinated and manned by community associations and volunteer organizations. Ice continues to be available at local stores and merchants. Residents able to access stores for ice and other needs are encouraged to do so.

For those unable to access stores, ice is available at the following locations beginning at noon.

  • Nanawale Estates Community Center
  • Kalani Honua Retreat
  • Neighborhood Place of Puna

County water spigot sites in Puna remain operational and available. Spigot sites include: Mountain View Gym, Kurtistown Ballpark, Kalapana, Nanawale Estates, Keonepoko, Kipuka Farms, and the Kea‘au Transfer Station. Residents are asked to continue to use these sites to meet their drinking water needs.

The Pahoa Community Center is open for showers from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information, please contact Janice Bueltmann of the Hawai`i Island United Way at 936-2268.

As recovery efforts continue we would like to thank the many volunteers and the entire community for your help and assistance.

Thank you for listening and have a safe day.

This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense.

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