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HELCO: 1,200 Puna area customers still without power

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 3:06 p.m. HST, Aug 19, 2014

Hawai'i Electric Light restored power to about 300 Hawaii island customers on Monday as its work in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Iselle continues. An estimated 1,200 customers remain without power.

Iselle, which made landfall on the island on Aug. 8 with winds of up to 60 mph and torrential rain, left about 25,000 customers without electrical power. Most of the customers affected by the outage were in the Puna area. 

A news release issued by Hawaiian Electric Companies on Tuesday noted that recent restoration progress has been made in Hawaiian Beaches and Hawaiian Paradise Park. However, pockets of customers within the areas may still be without power. Those customers are asked to report  by calling 969-6666.

HELCO electrical line crews are now focused on the following areas:

>> Nanawale Estate. Crews are working on power lines throughout the subdivision. Work also continues on digging holes to replace utility poles damaged by falling trees.

>> Lanipuna Gardens. Crews are working on repairs on the main line providing service to the subdivision as well as side streets. 

>> Leilani Estates. Crews are working on Kahukai Street and side streets, which suffered extensive damage from fallen trees.

>> Kapoho. Crews are working on lines that provide service to Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots.

Darren Pai, Hawai'i Electric Light spokesman, said in the release: "We appreciate our customers' patience as we make progress. In some neighborhoods, although main power lines have been restored, individual outages may need to be addressed home by home." 

Although crews are making progress in many areas, estimates indicate it could take another two weeks -- and in some cases, even longer -- to restore power to some areas. 

HELCO's information center was relocated on Saturday to Leilani Estates Community Center at 13-3441 Moku St. in lower Puna, and will remain open daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., as the restoration process continues. A charging station is available at the center for customer use. The center at the Hawaiian Shores Community Center in Hawaiian Beaches is now closed.

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