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HELCO webpage updates customers affected by eruption

  • COURTESY HAWAIIELECTRICLIGHT.COM/LAVA

    The latest information for Hawaii Electric Light Co. customers affected by the Kilauea eruption and for those who might have questions about billing and service during the emergency can be found here.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. has set up a page on its website for the latest information for customers affected by the eruption and for those who might have questions about billing and service during the emergency.

The page includes a new FAQ with information about billing and electrical service for those who have evacuated from their homes and for those who may be considering it. Hawaii Electric Light has suspended billing for those customers whose homes were destroyed or who live in the mandatory evacuation zone.

The company also has waived deposit and service establishment fees for customers who decide to leave their homes and relocate. Customers also can call 969-6999 for information about their account.

About 400 customers in the mandatory evacuation area are without power.

The new information page is at hawaiielectriclight.com/lava. You also can check Hawaii Electric Light’s Twitter (@HIElectricLight) and Facebook (HawaiianElectric) accounts for updates.

Airbnb hosts offer free temporary housing to evacuees

Airbnb, a vacation rental hosting site, has asked hosts to provide free temporary housing to disaster relief workers and residents affected by the Kilauea eruption.

The Disaster Response program, which is slated to run through May 31, is based on similar efforts that Airbnb deployed in 2012 in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Program housing can be found at 808ne.ws/airbnbdisasterhousing.

Kellie Bentz, Airbnb’s head of global disaster response and relief, said Airbnb is encouraging hosts in unaffected areas of Hawaii County “to aid in this effort by listing their available rooms or homes on the platform to help those who have been impacted and to relief workers offering their assistance on the ground.”

As of Friday afternoon 16 Airbnb hosts had signed up to offer free accommodations to about 30 relief workers.

“Our thoughts continue to be with everyone impacted, and we thank the dedicated government and emergency response personnel who are keeping our communities safe,” Bentz said.

Airbnb’s disaster response team also is assisting Kauai County enforce its ban on transient vacation units by blocking calendars for all 43 of its listings in the flood-ravaged Wainiha-Haena area. Airbnb said it could not take similar steps to block Hawaii island bookings because the county still needed to delineate boundaries.

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