Maui Electric crews continue restoration efforts on Lanai, pockets on Maui

MECO crews working on Lanai / Courtesy of the Maui Electric Company

In the aftermath of powerful windstorms that swept through the state on Saturday, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawai’i Electric Light crews continue their work today to restore service to thousands of customers who remain without power.

Winds remain gusty across the islands today and more outages are likely.

According to preliminary assessments, damage to electrical equipment from the windstorms was some of the most widespread in years, affecting customers on each of the five islands served by Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawai’i Electric Light.

Presently, all 1,700 customers on Lānaʽi are without power and are being asked to plan for an extended outage as crews work to safely restore power.

On Oʽahu, there were more than 100 separate outages in the past 24 hours, affecting about 100,000 customers. All but about 1,900 in Palolo had been restored by this morning and there are still dozens of localized outages across the island, including in Mākaha, Wai`anae, Wahiawa, Mānoa and Kalihi.

After high winds snapped or damaged 19 utility poles on Lānaʽi yesterday, Maui Electric crews are continuing restoration efforts today. The estimated time of restoration for Lānaʽi City is by 11 p.m. tonight, with the Manele area to follow by Monday evening.

On Maui, crews are working to restore about 560 customers in pockets of Upcountry Maui and Paia.

On Molokaʽi, Hawaiʽi Electric Light crews will arrive later today to assist Maui Electric with the restoration of power to a radio tower. Currently no other customers are out.

Hawai’i island experienced scattered outages caused by branches in lines, affecting about 7,500 customers over the past 24 hours. The largest outage was in the Waimea-Kawaihae area affecting about 2,700 customers Saturday night. All customers on the island have been restored.

Customers are reminded to stay away from downed power lines since they could be energized and are extremely dangerous.

When lines from a utility pole fall to the ground, touch a guardrail or land on a car, please remember:

  1. Don’t touch the lines. Stay away from downed power lines – at least 30 feet or more.
  2. Report downed lines immediately by calling Hawaiian Electric’s Trouble Line; the number is 1-855-304-1212, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  3. If you see someone injured after touching a downed power line, call 9-1-1 for help.
  4. Don’t try to rescue the person because electrical current can travel through them to you and you risk becoming a victim yourself.
  5. Warn others to stay away. Always assume downed power lines are energized and dangerous.
  6. A downed line touching a fence or guard rail can energize it for several thousand yards and pose a hazard to anyone coming into contact with these structures.
  7. Don’t run away; instead, keep your legs together and shuffle away with both feet on the ground to a safe distance (30 feet or more).

If a power line falls on your car while you are inside, follow these instructions:

  • Remain where you are, if possible, and call and wait for help.
  • If you must get out of the car because of a fire or other hazard, jump free of the car, hopping with both feet together so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground.
  • Once you clear the car, shuffle at least 30 feet away, with both feet on the ground.
  • Never step down or simultaneously touch the ground and equipment that is in contact with the power line, as this will increase the risk of electrical shock.

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