Hawai'i Electric Light restored power to an additional 400 customers on the Big Island on Sunday. That means 1,500 customers are still without power since Tropical Storm Iselle hit the island on Aug. 8.
HELCO says significant progress has been made in the following areas: Hawaiian Acres, Hawaiian Beaches/Hawaiian Shores, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Seaview Estates, and Black Sands Beach. Pockets of customers within these areas may still be out of power.
Customers in those areas who are still without power should report it by calling 969-6666.
On Monday, electrical line crews expect to continue making progress in the following areas: Nanawale Estates, Leilani Estates, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Kapoho, Lanipuna Gardens, Tangerine Acres, and portions of upper Puna.
Some areas of focus on Monday include the following:
• Nanawele Estates – electrical line crews are working on the main power line that brings electric service to the subdivision. Tree trimming and construction crews are also preparing the area by clearing and trimming trees and digging holes to replace utility poles damaged by falling trees.
• Lanipuna Gardens - electrical line crews are working on repairs. Tree trimming and construction crews are also preparing the area by clearing and trimming trees and digging holes to replace utility poles damaged by falling trees.
• Tangerine Acres - electrical line crews are working on repairs. Tree trimming and construction crews are also preparing the area by clearing and trimming trees and digging holes to replace utility poles damaged by falling trees.
• Leilani Estates – electrical line crews have restored power along Leilani Boulevard and are now working on Kahukai Street and side streets, which suffered extensive damage from fallen trees.
• Seaview Estates – electrical line crews are working on the main power line that brings service to the subdivision. Tree trimming crews are also preparing the area by clearing and trimming trees.
• Kapoho – electrical line crews are working on the main power line along Kapoho Road to Kapoho Beach Lots.
• Hawaiian Paradise Park – electrical line crews will be replacing poles on side streets within the subdivision and restoring power.
Restoration progress may be impacted by access due to storm debris, fallen trees, or other conditions in the field.
Even if customers don’t see crews in their area, we want customers to know that work is being done to restore power to their communities. In many cases, additional work on the electric system is needed in other locations to restore service.
Although crews are making progress and restoration in many areas may be much faster, estimates indicate it could approximately another two weeks – and in some cases, even longer – to restore power to the areas with the most significant damage. Actual restoration times for each location will depend on the extent of the damage.
Customer Information Center in Puna
Hawai'i Electric Light's Customer Information Center was relocated on Aug. 16 to Leilani Estates Community Center at 13-3441 Moku Street in lower Puna, and will remain open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – and longer if needed – as the restoration process continues. The center at the Hawaiian Shores Community Center in Hawaiian Beaches is closed.
Company representatives are on hand to answer questions from the public and provide the status of repairing the damage. A charging station also will be available at the center. Customers may bring their electronic devices to the center and get them charged there.
Background on restoration process
The process for restoring service involves many steps that need to be coordinated to ensure public and utility workers' safety. We also must ensure we deploy the right resources to ensure crews can restore power as quickly as possible. The following nis an overview of the restoration process:
• Assess damage: Damage assessments by field crews identify the extent of damage and the specific materials – including poles, transformers, and power lines – that need to be repaired or replaced.
• Clear trees and debris/dig holes: Contracted tree trimming and construction crews then need to 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 may still be damage at individual homes or pockets of homes within a neighborhood that will need to be addressed separately.