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Storms knock out Maui power

As heavy rain and thunderstorms ramped up overnight, the power went down for Maui. Leading to sewage spills, traffic jams and even leaving thousand of school students without a hot lunch.

While the lightning created a spectacular show in the sky, it also caused widespread problems on Maui.

“Lightning strikes across the islands did hit our electrical system and caused damage to the system, including downed power lines in areas,” said Maui Electric Communications Director Shayna Decker.

Almost all Maui customers had their power knocked out, more than 66-thousand.
Power company crews first restored electricity to critical infrastructure like hospitals, airports and important intersections. By noon, the number of customers without power had been cut to a third of the island.

After surveying the damage, power crews found it was more than just lightning to blame for the outages.

“We saw lightning strikes, as well as downed poles from the wind. And there was flooding, all storm effects that had an impact on the system,” added Decker.

Downed poles and storm runoff caused a major traffic jam on the Hana Highway for those headed into Kahului.

Hours of heavy rain resulted in some roads being washed out in south Maui.
While flooding forced residents at a Lahaina apartment complex to evacuate.

Stormy weather closed campgrounds and back country camping in Haleakala National Park.
Washed out the back road at Kaupo Gap, and closed the Seven Sacred Pools.
Even after debris on park roads was removed, visitors were still left with poor visibility on the mountain.

Some areas with power were still impacted by the outages.
Maui County Division of Motor Vehicle locations faced a different kind of traffic jam Tuesday, because they could not connect to the state database due to the electricity going off and on.

While all Maui schools students had to be served sandwich lunches, instead of the usual hot ones — because of a lack of consistent power.

By 5 pm, just over 1,000 were still without power, but electric crews expect to have them back on line later in the night.



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