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Saturday, August 30, 2014         

UTILITIES


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Thousands on Maui, Big Island without electricity

By Alan Yonan Jr.

POSTED:


Electrical utility crews on Hawaii island worked into the night to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses that lost electricity when Flossie swept across the island Monday.

On Maui, several thousand households and businesses were without power, with Maui Electric unable to dispatch crews to parts of Central and Upcountry Maui because of extensive lightning strikes.

The outages on both islands represented a relatively small percentage of the total electrical utility customers there.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. estimated that at the peak of the storm, 6,300 customers on the Big Island were without power. HELCO serves 82,000 customers. By early evening that number was down to 4,500, mostly in the Puna area, according to the utility.

Those affected included 2,800 customers from Volcano to Glenwood, 2,200 customers from Kala­pana to Nana­wale and 1,300 in Pana­ewa. Trees felled by high winds knocked down power lines and blocked roads in the Pahoa area, according to HELCO.

Maui Electric spokes­woman Kaui Awai-Dickson said it was difficult to estimate the number of customers on that island without power because of the foul weather, nor could she estimate when it would be restored.

"It's kind of been swinging back and forth," she said.

Electricity was back in some areas but was still out from Wai­luku to Kaha­ku­loa including Wai­luku Heights, Spreckelsville to Kuau, pockets in Kahu­lui, and from Huelo through most parts east along Hana Road, Awai-Dickson said.

Crews were able to restore power to the 2,000-plus Maui Electric customers who lost power in Kihei and Hana.

Maui Electric crews also responded to two separate storm-related outages in the Pii­holo area that affected 25 customers. Power was quickly restored to those customers, according to MECO.

Electricity was restored to Hana Town, Awai-Dickson said, but reports were continuing to come in about outages in other areas, including Middle Road in Kula.­






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