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Crews work to restore power to 1,500 customers

Downed branches and power lines rest on a car in Kula on Tuesday. Hawaiian Electric crews were still responding to scattered outages islandwide after a passing storm knocked down lines and poles. HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC photo

The Maui News

About 1,500 customers across Maui were still without power on Tuesday evening as Hawaiian Electric crews continued to respond to scattered outages and make repairs of lines and poles damaged in the passing Kona low storm.

While crews are working as quickly as possible and additional field crews from Oahu have joined the efforts, Hawaiian Electric warned that restoration will take time and that affected customers in parts of Kula, Pukalani, Haiku, Maui Meadows, Wailuku and Lahaina should prepare for a possible extended overnight outage.

After completing repairs of damaged transmission lines supplying power to Upcountry, South and West Maui, crews are working through hundreds of distribution and individual service line outages across the island. Such restorations can take time, as each area has varying degrees of damage to electrical equipment, such as downed power lines and poles, Hawaiian Electric said. Some places have limited access due to fallen trees, remaining stormwater and large debris.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday, Hawaiian Electric reported that:

• In parts of Kula, crews continue to make repairs in various neighborhoods to multiple damaged and downed poles and numerous spans of downed lines that provide power to individual homes. Parts of Kula Highway have been restored along with critical infrastructure such as Kula Hospital as crews continue to work in different pockets of the Kula area.

• In Pukalani, a pocket of customers remain without power because lines serving the area are in a gulch still containing rising storm runoff, making it unsafe for crews to begin restoration to that circuit as of Tuesday evening.

• In Haiku, crews brought customers in parts of East Kuiaha Road, Lepo Street and the Haiku Community Center area back online and are addressing remaining pockets in the area.

• In Maui Meadows, work is being done to restore electrical equipment used to protect the main electrical system from energy surges and overloading that can occur during and after disturbances to the system, such as the recent storm.

• Crews are also addressing individual pocket outages in the Lahaina and Wailuku areas with reports of damaged power lines and other electrical equipment.

Since Sunday, an estimated 22,000 Maui customers experienced brief to extended power outages caused by gusty winds and fallen trees on the island’s transmission and distribution system. Crews worked through the night in areas that were safe to access and continued with restoration efforts Tuesday to bring customers in parts of Haiku to Nahiku, Pukalani, Kihei, Paia and Lahaina back online.

Hawaiian Electric also reminded people to stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, which are energized and dangerous.

Outages updates are posted on the company’s Twitter account @MauiElectric. To report an outage or downed power line, call (808) 871-7777.

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