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Hawaiian Electric says power restored to most customers affected by storm

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                A police officer directed traffic during a power outage in downtown Honolulu, Tuesday, after a severe winter storm swept the islands.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A police officer directed traffic during a power outage in downtown Honolulu, Tuesday, after a severe winter storm swept the islands.

UPDATE: 5 p.m.

Hawaiian Electric says it has restored service for the majority of Hawaii island customers impacted by the “Kona low” storm system that brought damaging winds and flooding to the state earlier this week.

Crews from Hawaii island and Oahu restored service to about 550 customers, while about 350 remained without service as of 3 p.m. today.

Power was restored to most customers in Ainaloa, as well as Captain Cook, Eden Roc Estates, Hawaiian Beaches, most of Hawaiian Paradise Park, Holualoa, Kealia, Nanawale, and Wood Valley.

Crews continue working in Hawaiian Acres, Kaloko, the Kulani area, Kurtistown, Leilani Estates, Makalei, Mauna Loa Estates, Mountain View, Ocean View, Orchid Isle, Naalehu, Royal Hawaiian Estates, and the Volcano area.

1 p.m.

Hawaiian Electric said crews as of noon today had restored the majority of storm-related outages.

About 3,000 customers across Hawaiian Electric’s service territory who experienced an extended outage following the recent storm had their electricity restored by repair crews working nonstop.

As of noon, about 950 customers remained without power, mainly in the Puna and Kona areas of Hawaii island.

The following is a rundown as of noon today:

>> Oahu: One building in downtown Honolulu will likely be without power until Friday. This is because of severe damage to the equipment inside the vault that it receives electricity from. The equipment will need to be fully dried out and repaired before it can be re-energized.

>> Maui: Crews have completed emergency repairs to a pole that was damaged during the recent storm. About 1,900 customers from Peahi to East Maui were without electricity while the repairs were made, but all were restored by 3 a.m. Crews continue to respond to about 35 individual storm-related outages remaining in the Upcountry and Kanaio area today. The Haleakala summit area, however, will remain without power for an extended period of time.

>> Hawaii island: Power to more than 2,200 customers has been restored, while roughly 900 outages remain across the island. Most of the outages that have already been identified should be restored today. Full restoration is expected by noon on Saturday, except for customers with property damage that would need to be repaired before crews can restore electricity.

9:15 a.m.

In Hawaii County, Hawaiian Electric at 9 a.m. today said it restored power to more than 900 customers on Wednesday, and is currently addressing outages in Eden Roc Estates, Leilani Estates, Nanawale, Hawaiian Beaches, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Ainaloa, Kurtistown, Fern Acres, Volcano, Kailua, Kaloko, Holualoa, Captain Cook, Kealia and Wood Valley.

Because most of the outages are isolated and scattered across the island, it is challenging to pinpoint an estimated restoration time for specific areas. Some areas still remain inaccessible due to storm debris or fallen trees, repairing delays.

On Maui County, crews continue to respond to individual pockets of storm-related outages remaining in the Upcountry and Kanaio area.

The Haleakala summit area, however, will remain without power for an extended period of time.

As of 7:30 a.m., Hawaiian Electric said crews completed repairs to a damaged pole in the Peahi to East Maui and Haiku area overnight.

Thursday, 6 a.m.

Power has been restored to all remaining customers in downtown Honolulu as of around 2:20 a.m. after crews completed repairs, HECO said.

2:20 p.m.

Hawaiian Electric said an estimated 3,200 customers are still without power statewide due to the impacts of the “Kona low” storm that ravaged the isles Monday and Tuesday.

Those customers include about 400 on Oahu, 200 on Maui, and 2,600 on Hawaii island.

While most of these customers should see their power restored today, they should plan for the potential of getting through another day without electricity, the utility said.

More than 200 repair crew members, technicians and system operators, meanwhile, are working around the clock on the three isles to restore electricity.

“We know some people haven’t had electricity for several days and we know they’re frustrated,” said Scott Seu, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric, in a news release. “Some people are also frustrated that we haven’t been able to give them a firm estimate on when the lights will come back on. I want to acknowledge that frustration and assure you that our crews are working as quickly and safely as possible under challenging conditions. I know it’s been hard but thank you for hanging in, we really appreciate your patience and understanding.”

The following is a rundown of power restoration efforts on the three isles:

>> Oahu: Service has been restored to about 80% of customers who lost power in downtown Honolulu as of this morning. Underground crews also replaced 300 feet of high-voltage, flood-damaged cable, and continue to make repairs to restore power to remaining customers at several office buildings and condominiums.

>> Maui: Crews continue work today to restore power to customers in pockets of Pukalani, Kula, Haiku, Wailuku, Lahaina and Hana. The Haleakalaa Crater summit will remain without power for an extended time due to downed power lines. Hawaiian Electric said the storm caused significant damage to the island’s transmission system. Crews are unable to access some areas due to downed trees and stormwater runoff. They are hiking in by foot to make repairs in the upper Kula area because they are inaccessible by helicopter or off-road vehicles at this time.

>> Hawaii island: Crews are continuing damage assessments and responding to widespread outages in Puna and Kona. Puna areas include Leilani Estates, Eden Roc Estates, Nanawale, Hawaiian Beaches, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Ainaloa, Kurtistown, Fern Acres, and Volcano. Kona areas include Kailua, Kaloko, Holualoa, Captain Cook, and Kealia. Most outages here involve trees that fell on power lines.

No significant damage or outages were reported on Molokai and Lanai, Hawaiian Electric said.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

Hawaiian Electric said power was restored to about 80% of customers this morning in the downtown Honolulu area after damage to the Iwilei substation caused by the storm on Monday.

Some customers have gone two nights without power as crews replaced a 300-foot section of underground cable damaged by flooding on Monday.

Hawaiian Electric said in an 8 a.m. tweet today that power was restored to about 80% of customers, and that crews are aiming to restore power to remaining customers later this morning. The company said Honolulu customers with restored power should be aware that there may be several “brief duration outages” today as crews test circuits and store power to remaining customers.

Much of downtown Honolulu and Chinatown has remained without power since Monday afternoon, when thunderstorms and heavy rainfall brought by the “Kona low” weather system hit Oahu, flooding the Iwilei substation that serves the area.

The outage wiped out power at the State Capitol, federal courthouse, office towers, and residential high-rises, impacting hundreds.

According to Hawaiian Electric, three transformers were knocked out when the substation and several underground vaults with high-voltage cables were flooded Monday night.

Crews worked through the night to repair one of the three transformers, and power was restored to the State Capitol and a few downtown buildings on Tuesday morning.

The other two transformers, however, were being dried out, repaired, and tested.

Crews attempting to drain floodwater from the underground vaults that house the transformers faced the challenges of continuing rains, along with morning high tides on Tuesday.

Then they found the damaged, 300-foot cable, which would take more time to repair.

Crews were able to repair the second of three transformers on Tuesday evening, when Hawaiian Electric said power had been restored to about 70% of customers, but others would have to wait until Wednesday.

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