Power restored statewide after windy weather triggers outages

Windy weather conditions cause damage to Kamuela home on the Big Island . The tree reported came down about 1 p.m. Saturday. No one was inside the house at the time. (Photo courtesy Jordanah Ah Puck )

If you can safely take photographs or video of the windy weather, send them to KHON2 via Report It.

Utility repair crews across the Hawaiian Islands restored service to customers who lost electricity as a result of windy conditions since Friday.

All Maui County customers affected by storm-related power outages this weekend were restored to power as of 7:50 p.m. Monday

Three-thousand-five-hundred-twenty customers were initially impacted in Maui County by the storm that hit the islands on Friday and Saturday. Customers in Haiku, Wailuku, Waiehu, Kahului, Piiholo and Olinda were affected.

Crews had to clear trees and debris to gain access and conduct repairs.

If anyone outside the areas listed is currently without power, please call Maui Electric at 871-7777.

On the Big Island, Hawaii Electric Light crews completed repairs to all major damage in areas impacted by high winds.

Late Tuesday evening, crews restored power to the remaining 40 customers in portions of Nanawale, Leilani Estates and a few pocket outages in the Puna area.

Approximately 5,000 customers were initially affected. In some areas, strong winds toppled trees and caused extensive damage to power lines and utility poles. Ongoing windy conditions made it unsafe for tree trimmers to clear roadways and for crews to conduct assessments and make repairs.

Pohoiki Road (Photo: Hawaii Electric Light Company)

“HELCO has been working hard with trying to restore power to customers that were affected. Initially, we had a number of different roadways, mainly traffic corridors that were affected by trees and power lines,” said Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator Darryl Oliveira.

Oliveira says all major roads and thoroughfares were reopened Sunday.

Hawaii Electric Light reminds the community to be safe and treat downed power lines as energized and dangerous. Do not handle or move any fallen or damaged utility equipment. If someone is injured by a downed power line, do not approach them. Call 911 for assistance.

To report a downed power line or outage, please call 969-6666.

The process for restoring service involves many steps to ensure the safety of the crews and community:

  • Assess damage: Damage assessments by field crews identify the extent of damage and the specific materials – including poles, transformers and power lines – that need repair or replacement.
  • Clear trees and debris/dig holes: Contracted tree trimming and construction crews then clear fallen trees and debris and dig holes for utility poles.
  • Install poles, restring lines, and install transformers: Electrical line crews can then be deployed to begin installing the poles, framing the cross arms on the poles, restringing lines, and installing transformers and other equipment.
  • Repair main line first before energizing: Work is first done on the main lines serving subdivisions to restore the connection into those neighborhoods. Side streets can then be restored. Even after power is restored to a neighborhood, there still may be damage at individual homes or pockets of homes within a neighborhood that will need to be addressed separately.

Hawaii Electric Light reminds the community to be safe and treat downed power lines as energized and dangerous. Do not handle or move any fallen or damaged utility equipment. If someone is injured by a downed power line, do not approach them. Call 9-1-1 for assistance.

Customers who have not yet reported their power outage are asked to call 969-6666. Due to the high call volume, customers may experience a longer wait time before speaking with a representative.

On Kauai, the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative reported outages in Lihue and Kekaha that were restored after about three hours. At the time of this post, KIUC stated on Twitter that nearly all customers have been restored with a few remaining areas needing work to restore service.

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