Categorized | Business, Energy, Hurricane, News, Weather

Power outages update from HELCO Wednesday (Aug 31)

UPDATED (9:32 p.m. on 8/31/2016)

HILO, Aug. 31, 2016 (8:45 p.m.) – Hawai‘i Electric Light’s business offices, including the Customer Service and Customer Engineering offices, will remain closed on Thursday September 1, 2016. The Company will continue to address customer outages caused by Tropical Storm Madeline on Thursday. Customers may still reach the company to report power outages and downed power lines by calling its trouble desk at 969-6666. All offices will be open for business on Friday, September 2, 2016.

During the course of the day an estimated 5,500 customers experienced power interruptions related to Tropical Storm Madeline on Wednesday. Employees worked to repair downed lines and broken poles, and remove trees and branches from power lines to restore power to customers. Nearly all affected customers have been restored. As of 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, approximately 100 customers in Pahala, Mountain View, and Honoka‘a are without power. Crews are working tonight to restore power to customers as long as it is safe to do so.

“The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority,” said Hawai‘i Electric Light spokesperson Rhea Lee-Moku. “Do not touch fallen or low hanging power lines or anything they may be in contact with. A seemingly harmless wire may still be energized. Stay clear of puddles where downed lines may have landed. Stay at least 30 feet away from a fallen line and call the Hawai‘i Electric Light trouble desk at 969- 6666.

Even after power is restored, small pockets of outages may occur. Customers who are without power and have not yet reported their outage should call the trouble desk to report it.

UPDATED (5:40 p.m. on 8/31/2016)

As of 5:30 p.m. some customers in the South Point area have their power restored. Crews continue to work on repairs to safely restore power to remaining customers.

UPDATED (5 p.m. on 8/31/2016)

As of 1:30 p.m. about 235 power customers in Honokaa, Kohala, South Hilo, Mountain View, Kurtistown and Hawaiian Paradise Park are without power. There are delays in response due to Tropical Storm Madeline moving in closer as the safety of crews is taken into consideration.

To report an outage call HELCO at (808) 969-6666.

More information about reporting outages at: www.hawaiielectriclight.com/he…

MEDIA RELEASE

HILO, Aug. 31, 2016 (4:00 p.m.) – Throughout the day, Hawai‘i Electric Light crews worked to restore power as quickly as possible to customers who lost electricity as a result of Tropical Storm Madeline.

As of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, approximately 235 customers in Honoka‘a, Kohala, South Hilo, Mountain View, Kurtistown, and Hawaiian Paradise Park are without power. During the course of the day an estimated 3,600 customers experienced power interruptions due to the effects of Madeline, but our crews were able to respond and make repairs to restore power to all but the 235 that remain out.

As the storm moves closer tonight, power restoration will be delayed until daylight to ensure the safety of our crews.

“We won’t send employees into areas where trees are falling or when lightning, wind, heavy rain or darkness make it unsafe to work,” said Hawai‘i Electric Light spokesperson Rhea Lee-Moku. “The large albizia trees, which are prone to breaking and falling especially during storm conditions, pose a serious threat to our personnel. It is much safer to manage this hazard during daylight hours especially during inclement weather.”

Hawai‘i Electric Light will continue to monitor the effects of Madeline, and also monitor the approaching Hurricane Lester. Hawaiian Electric and Maui Electric are ready to assist with the restoration process, if needed, as are other utilities in Hawai‘i and the Western U.S. that are part of a mutual assistance group.

“We understand the frustration of our customers who are still without power and sincerely apologize to them,” Lee-Moku said. “Our crews are working hard to get power back to our communities. We thank our customers for their patience.”

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