Hawai'i Electric Light on Tuesday restored service to approximately 100 customers in Discovery Harbor, Kea'au, and Pahala Village – areas that lost power as a result of Tropical Storm Iselle.
As of 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, 99 percent of Big Island customers have power. This comes 12 days after Tropical Storm Iselle hit the island, according to HELCO.
An estimated 1,100 customers remain without power. Nearly all of these customers are in Nanawale Estates, Vacationland, and Kapoho Beach Lots, where electrical line crews are focusing their efforts and expect to make more progress on Wednesday.
The storm caused extensive damage in those areas, with many streets impacted by fallen trees, downed power lines and damaged utility poles. Tree-trimming and construction crews have been working in those areas for several days to clear roads and dig holes for poles, so electrical line crews can move in and work safely and efficiently.
In the interests of safety, electrical line crews will complete repairs in those areas before restoring power to each subdivision. Restoration progress may be impacted by access due to storm debris, fallen trees, or other conditions in the field.
Customers in areas besides Nanawale Estates, Vacationland, and Kapoho Beach Lots who are still without power should report their outage by calling 969-6666.
Electrical line crews are also continuing to work on smaller outages in the following areas: Hawaiian Paradise Park, Leilani Estates, and Lanipuna Gardens. Tree-trimming and hole-digging crews are also continuing to work in Hawaiian Acres, Lanipuna Gardens, and Nanawale.
Although crews have made good progress and restoration in many areas may be much faster, estimates indicate it could take 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 is at the Leilani Estates Community Center at 13-3441 Moku Street in lower Puna and will remain open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – and longer if needed – as the restoration process continues.
Company representatives are on hand to answer questions from the public and provide the status of repairs. Free Wi-Fi access and a charging station also will be available at the center. Customers may bring their electronic devices to the center and get them charged there. The center at the Hawaiian Shores Community Center in Hawaiian Beaches is closed.
Hawai'i Electric Light urges the public to remember these important safety tips:
• Do not handle or move any fallen or damaged utility equipment.
• Do not approach any downed power lines, as they may have electricity running through them and can be dangerous. If you see someone injured by a downed power line, do not approach them and call 9-1-1 for assistance.
• Use generators outdoors and away from flammable materials. Generators connected directly to your home may feed excess electricity back into power lines, creating a public safety hazard. Plug appliances directly into your generator, using extension cords.
• Unplug unnecessary and sensitive electronic equipment. Use high-quality surge suppressors for electric appliances that remain plugged in.
• Use batteries to power flashlights and lanterns. Do not use candles or other flammable fuel sources, as they are fire hazards.
• Be aware of trees and utility poles that were weakened by storm winds and have the potential for falling.
• Anyone who is without power and who is dependent on electric-powered life support medical equipment should make arrangements to go to an alternate location with power. They should bring their medical equipment and medications with them. They should also stay in contact with their medical equipment supplier for any special equipment needs