Hawaii Electric Light Co. crews continue to make progress on restoring power to customers affected by Tropical Storm Iselle. An estimated 6,800 – or about eight percent – of customers remained without power Tuesday.
Electrical line crews from West Hawaii have been redeployed to assist with the restoration. They joined a workforce that includes crews, equipment and vehicles from East Hawaii, Oahu and Maui. Additional contracted crews include electrical line workers, construction crews to dig holes for new utility poles, and tree trimmers to clear fallen trees.
On Tuesday, electrical line crews expect to make progress in Hamakua, Upper Puna, Ainaloa, Hawaiian Beaches, and Hawaiian Paradise Park. Contracted crews will also be working in Leilani Estates and Nanawale, according to HELCO.
In addition, contracted tree trimming and construction crews are working to clear fallen trees, debris, and dig utility pole holes. This work is needed to prepare the area for electrical line crews to set new poles and repair fallen power lines and other damaged equipment. Restoration progress may be impacted by access because of storm debris, fallen trees, or other conditions in the field.
Although crews are making progress, preliminary estimates indicate it could take up to three weeks to restore power to the areas with the most significant damage, and in some cases even longer. These estimates are still preliminary and actual restoration times for each location will depend on the extent of the damage.
As a safety precaution, customers should not handle or move any fallen or damaged utility equipment. Customers are also reminded not to 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, call 911 for assistance.
HELCO’s Customer Information Center at the Hawaiian Shores Community Center in Hawaiian Beaches remains open. An estimated 300 to 400 people visited the center when it opened on Monday. Company representatives will be on hand to answer questions from the public and provide the status of repairing the damage. Customers may bring their electronic devices and get them charged. A charging station will be available at the center. The center will remain open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. as the restoration process continues.