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Red Cross closes Pahoa shelter, power restoration continues

August 21, 2014 - 11:55am

The Hawaii Red Cross said Sunday its shelter at the Pahoa Community Center for those displaced by Tropical Storm Iselle will close today at noon.

In a written statement, the relief agency said its caseworkers are working with shelter residents who can’t return to their homes to help with alternative arrangements.

In addition, the Red Cross will continue to distribute relief supplies to targeted areas and visit the hardest hit areas to provide referrals, guidance or additional assistance as needed to help with the recovery process.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. reports steady progress in restoring electric service to customers who lost power as a result of the storm. Service to an additional 800 customers was restored Saturday, mainly in upper Puna, the utility said in a written statement.

Service was restored to the end of Pahoa-Kalapana Road. Restoration progress also was made in Hawaiian Acres, Hawaiian Beaches/Hawaiian Shores, and Hawaiian Paradise Park. Pockets of customers within these areas might still be out of power.

As of Monday morning, 1,500 customers remained without power.

HELCO’s customer information center at Leilani Estates Community Center remains open daily from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. — and longer if needed — as power restoration 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.

County Civil Defense said in a Sunday message storm damage assessments are ongoing and Federal Emergency Management Agency crews are on island and working with the local damage assessment teams.

The agency said ice will be distributed noon-4 p.m. today, or until supplies are exhausted, at Nanawale Estates Community Center and Kalani Oceanside Retreat, aka Kalani Honua.

Area stores and merchants report ice is now available and residents who can go to the store for ice and other needs are encouraged to do so.

Safe drinking water is available at all county spigot sites in Puna, including Mountain View Gym, Kurtistown Ballpark, Kalapana, Nanawale Estates, Keonepoko, Kipuka Farms, and Keaau Transfer Station. Residents are asked to continue using these sites to meet their drinking water needs.

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