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Utility resumes hurricane pole work

The Maui News

Hawaiian Electric has restarted hurricane resilience projects, such as replacing utility poles, that were sidelined by COVID-19 emergency orders and effects, the utility announced Monday.

The work in Maui County and on Oahu and Hawaii islands normally is done before hurricane season, which started Monday, Hawaiian Electric said.

With customers adhering to pandemic-related stay-at-home orders, Hawaiian Electric delayed certain resilience and maintenance projects to minimize the number of customer outages that are often needed to perform the work.

As the state continues to loosen stay-at-home orders, utility crews will resume critical hurricane preparation work that includes removing temporary overhead jumper lines and replacing aging and damaged utility poles. Hundreds of poles and transformers will be replaced through the end of 2020 with higher-priority jobs scheduled first.

Customers will be notified if the scheduled work requires outages. Notices will be mailed or delivered to affected customers several days before the scheduled work takes place to allow time to make alternative plans. With many customers still working from home or taking online classes, these notices will provide information, such as the expected duration of the outage.

Crews continue to follow social distancing guidelines while in the field, the utility said. The public is asked to refrain from approaching Hawaiian Electric workers while they are on the job. If interaction is necessary, maintain a safe distance of at least 6 feet.

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