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About 2,900 Big Island customers still without power

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    Branches lay scattered around the base of a large tree in Pohakupu Park in Kailua.

An estimated 2,900 Hawaii island customers remained without power Sunday evening as utility crews worked to restore electricity after strong winds and stormy weather over the weekend.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. said while crews were working to restore power as quickly as possible, some residents may not get their power back for several days.

"Due to extensive damage, customers in Hawaiian Beaches, Hawaiian Shores, Nanawale, Leilani Estates and Lanipuna are advised to prepare for the possibility of extended outages through this week," the utility said in a news release.

On Sunday, crews restored power to 1,100 customers in parts of Kapoho, Vacationland, Hawaiian Beaches, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Orchidland, Ainaloa, Waimea and North Kohala. 

"We want to assure customers that our employees are committed to restoring power as safely as possible," said Kristen Okinaka, Hawaii Electric Light spokeswoman. "Work is being done to restore power to every community even if crews are not working in your neighborhood. In many cases, crews must complete additional work on the electric system in other locations first."

Crews were busy assessing damage, clearing trees and debris, and repairing transmission lines, substations and distribution lines across the island.

The utility reminds customers to treat downed powerlines as if they were energized and dangerous. It also offered food safety tips for customers who remain without power, including:

>> Food in the refrigerator should be safe as long as power has been out no more than four hours. Keep the door closed as much as possible.

>> Discard any perishable food that has been above 41 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of perishable foods such as meat, poultry, fish, and leftovers before you cook or eat it.

>> Foods can stay frozen in the freezer for one to three days: one day for a half-full freezer, three days for a fully-stocked freezer.

>> Food that has been thawed completely and has not been held at or below 41 degrees should be cooked and eaten immediately. If your food still has ice crystals, it’s safe to refreeze.

Meanwhile on the Valley Isle, Maui Electric Co. said approximately 220 customers remained without power Sunday in pockets of Kahului, Wailuku, Waiehu, upper Olinda, Piiholo and Haiku. Torrential rain and strong winds had initially knocked out power to 3,520 Maui county customers.

Also on Maui, the state issued a brown water advisory for Honokahua Bay due to heavy rains. The Health Department advised the public to stay out of flood waters and storm water runoff due to possible overflowing cesspools, sewer manholes, pesticides, animal fecal matter, dead animals, pathogens, chemicals, and associated flood debris.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said crews had restored all major outages on Oahu overnight Saturday into Sunday.

The National Weather Service canceled high wind advisories and warnings for most of the state, but a wind advisory remained in effect Sunday for the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on Hawaii island.

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