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MECO UPDATES: Power Restored to Remaining Customers after Iselle

August 11, 2014, 7:00 AM HST (Updated August 11, 2014, 9:56 AM) · 0 Comments
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Iselle Storm Damage - Maui. Trees down in Ulupalakua 4:30 p.m. 8/8/14. Photo by Seth Welcker.

Iselle Storm Damage – Maui. Trees down in Ulupalakua 4:30 p.m. 8/8/14. Photo by Seth Welcker.

By Maui Now Staff

(Update: Aug. 11, 2014, 9:50 a.m.)

Maui Electric crews restored power to all customers by 6:15 p.m. on Sunday, August 10, when a remaining 39 customers in Olinda and Piʻiholo were brought back online. Responding crews worked around-the-clock since late Thursday evening to repair and replace electrical equipment that was damaged by Tropical Storm Iselle’s heavy rains and strong winds.

“Thank you to all of our customers for your patience and understanding as our crews worked to safely restore power as quickly as possible,” said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric.

If a customer is still without power, they are asked to call the Maui Electric 24/7 Trouble Lines, on Maui at 871-7777, and Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi at 1-877-871-8461.

(Update: Aug. 10, 2014, 1:30 p.m.)
As of 1:30 p.m. today, Maui Electric crews are working to bring a remaining 39 customers in parts of Olinda and Piʻiholo back online by later this afternoon.
Power was restored earlier today to a majority of customers, including those in the ʻUlupalakua area, after crews worked around-the-clock to repair the damage caused by Tropical Storm Iselle.
If a customer is still without power in an area that was not listed, please call the MECO 24/7 Trouble Lines: Maui: 871-7777 and Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi: 1-877-871-8461.
“Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as our crews are making steady progress in restoring power to all customers,” said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric.

(5:47 p.m. 8/9/14)

As of 5 p.m. today (Saturday, Aug. 9), an estimated 130 customers have been brought back online as Maui Electric crews continue their around-the-clock efforts to repair the damage caused by Tropical Storm Iselle. Approximately 117 customers remain without power at this time.

Maui Electric crews worked today to clear large trees and debris in an effort to access areas where downed lines and poles exist. In the last 24 hours, power was restored to customers in Haiku, Kahakuloa, and parts of Olinda and Piʻiholo. The majority of customers in ʻUlupalakua who were without power have also been restored to service.

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Currently, customers in small pockets of Olinda, Piʻiholo, and ʻUlupalakua remain without power as crews continue their efforts to cut paths through rough terrain to make repairs.

“We understand that this is extremely difficult for our customers who are still without power,” said Maui Electric Company President Sharon Suzuki.

“We want you know that we are doing everything we possibly can to bring folks back online as soon as possible,” she said.

If a customer is still without power in an area we have not listed, please call our 24/7 Trouble Lines: Maui: 871-7777 and Molokai and Lanai: 1-877-871-8461.
(Update 6:30 p.m. 8/8/14)

As of 6:30 p.m., there are no new outages in Maui County and Maui Electric crews are continuing repair work through the evening in efforts to restore electrical service to the remaining 250 Maui customers without power. These affected customers are in parts of Olinda, ʻUlupalakua, Pukalani, Haʻikū and Mākena.

“Safety is our number one priority for our employees and customers,” said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric. “We understand what a hardship it is for our customers to be without power and we sincerely apologize. Our crews have been working around the clock to safely restore power as quickly as possible to everyone. The remaining areas without power were inaccessible due to weather hazards or obstructions that are being removed so we can gain access to these sites.”

Earlier today, Maui Electric restored power to about 7,750 Maui customers who lost service around 9 a.m. due to high winds and heavy rains in areas throughout Maui, including Pukalani and Haʻikū to Hāna.

Work in Olinda and ʻUlupalakua is progressing as debris is being removed and numerous uprooted trees are being cut and cleared from so crews can access the downed poles and electrical lines.

For customers currently still out in Pukalani, electrical lines and poles went down late Thursday night in the Kaluapulani Gulch in Pukalani. The conditions at that time were too hazardous for crews to safely access the steep terrain. Crews hiked into the gulch today and are in the process of removing trees and repairing damaged electrical lines.

Please report any outages, and/or downed power lines and poles, to our 24/7 Trouble Lines: Maui: 871-7777 and Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi: 1-877-871-8461. Maui Electric crews are prepared to respond to any power outages for the duration of the storm. Please also be reminded to stay away from any downed power lines and call Maui Electric or 911 immediately for emergency assistance.

(Update: 1:30 p.m. 8/8/14)

As of 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 8, Maui Electric has restored power to about 7,750 Maui customers who lost service around 9 a.m. due to high winds and heavy rains in areas throughout Maui, including Pukalani and Haʻikū to Hāna.

About 250 customers still remain without power in pockets of Olinda, Pukalani, Haʻikū and Mākena as responding crews work to repair and replace damaged electrical equipment.

Please report any outages, and/or downed power lines and poles, to our 24-7 Trouble Lines: Maui: 871-7777 and Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi: 1-877-871-8461. Maui Electric crews are prepared to respond to any power outages for the duration of the storm.

In addition, Maui Electric reminds customers to consider the following safety measures during and after a disaster or power outage:

  • Stay away from downed power lines. Assume they are energized, or “live,” and dangerous. If you see someone injured after touching a downed power line, call 9-1-1 for help. Warn others to stay clear. Call the Maui Electric Trouble Line at 871-7777 on Maui or 1-877-871-8461 on Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i.
  • If a power line has fallen on a car that you are in, stay inside the car if possible and wait for help. If you can, try to break contact with the line by driving the car away from it. If you need to get out of the car right away because of some other pending danger like fire, jump out and away from the car so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground and try to land with two feet. Shuffle-walk away. Do this to avoid having your body become an electrical path from the car to the ground.

“Thank you to our customers for their patience and understanding as our crews work to restore power to everyone as safely and quickly as possible,” said Sharon Suzuki, President of Maui Electric.

(Update: 11:43 a.m. 8/8/2014)

Power in Pukalani and
Kula has since been restored according to an update provided by Maui police.

(Update: 11:03 a.m. 8/8/2014)

Power outage reported in Kula. Crews are responding.

(Update: 10:13 a.m. 8/8/2014)

Iselle’s high winds and heavy rain throughout the morning continued to wreak havoc on Maui’s electrical system as crews worked to respond to numerous outages on Maui and Molokaʻi.

Responding crews are currently working to repair a transmission line that is affecting customers in Pukalani and Haʻiku to Hana. Hāna town is currently being powered by two generating units.

Restoration efforts are also underway for pocket outages in Olinda, Kīhei, Mākena, West Maui, ʻUlupalakua, and Pāʻia.

Molokaʻi crews are currently working to clear power lines leading into Kalaupapa in an effort to help restore power to the Kalaupapa community.

(Update: 8:45 a.m. 8/8/2014)

There is a power outage reported in the Upcountry area of Maui to Hāna, according to reports from Maui police.

The Kula area still has electric power.

Crews from Maui Electric Company are working to troubleshoot the problem.

(Update: 5 a.m. 8/8/2014)

Downed trees and debris in electrical lines kept Maui Electric crews busy throughout the night and into the early morning hours.

Approximately 3,000 customers lost power in areas of upcountry including Olinda, Piʻiholo, Pukalani, and Haʻikū.

Crews are unable to safely access certain areas and for this reason, approximately 200 customers in the Pukalani, Piʻiholo, and Olinda area remain without power. Crews will begin repairs as soon as it is deemed safe.

On Moloka’i, shortly after 12 a.m. approximately 480 customers in Kamalo lost power when trees came down on power lines along Kamehameha V Highway. Power was restored to all affected Moloka’i customers at 3:15 a.m.

“Our crews are working hard to restore power as quickly as possible for our customers,” said Maui Electric President Sharon Suzuki. “Safety remains our top priority so we ask for the public’s patience as we respond to this storm.”

(Update: 12:44 a.m. 8/8/2014)

A power outage affecting an estimated 2,700 customers in the Pukalani area was reported at around 10:30 p.m. on Thursday.

As of 12:15 a.m., the majority of Pukalani customers who lost power have been brought back online.

Approximately 20 customers remained without power with restoration expected early Friday when crews can safely access electrical lines that came down in a gulch.

Power was restored to an estimated 120 customers on Piʻiholo Road at around 10:30 p.m. after wind debris came into contact with power lines.  Small pockets of customers, including the County of Maui Olinda Water Treatment Plant, remain without power at last report. Repairs will be conducted as soon as crews can safely access the area. In the interim, customers in the Upper Kula area are asked to continue water conservation.

Updates will be provided as soon as more information becomes available. Report any outages, and/or downed power lines and poles, to 24-7 Trouble Lines: Maui: 871-7777 and Molokai and Lanai: 1-877-871-8461. Maui Electric says crews are prepared to respond to any power outages for the duration of the storm.

Road Closures:

The following roadways are closed due to downed trees and power lines: Piʻiholo Road from Makawao Avenue; and Olinda Road at Hanamu Road. Vehicles will not be able to exit these roadways from the mauka areas.  Public works has placed barricades in these areas until MECO can respond.

(Update: 11:19 p.m. 8/7/2014)

Upcountry Maui Outage Updates:

As of 10:25 p.m., approximately 2,700 customers in areas of Pukalani were without power. Crews are responding.

Power was restored at 10:30 p.m. to 120 customers on Piʻiholo Road who lost power when wind debris came in contact with power lines.

Small pockets of customers, including the County of Maui Olinda Water Treatment Plant, remain without power at this time. Repairs will be conducted as soon as crews can safely access the area.

(Update: 10:12 p.m. 8/7/2014)

Maui police are directing traffic around a downed tree along Olinda Road, between Pukiki Place and Hawea Place in Makawao. The tree came down at 6:50 p.m. 8/7/2014, taking down with it three power lines.

Downed tree outages in Olinda and Peahi have since been restored to a majority of customers.

At approximately 6:50 p.m., about 80 customers in parts of Olinda lost power when a tree fell bringing down three power lines and blowing a fuse on Olinda Rd. between Pukiki Pl. & Hawea Pl. At 7:47 p.m., about 100 customers in Peahi also lost power due to a fallen tree on S. Holokai Rd. Olinda Rd. customers were restored at 8:02 p.m. Customers in Peahi were restored at 8:47 p.m.

(Original Post: 6:53 p.m. 8/7/2014)

In advance of Iselle and Julio, crews from Maui Electric Company are taking precautions now to prevent power outages and to ensure continued service for customers.

The public is asked to report any outages, and/or downed power lines and poles, to Maui Electric Company’s 24-7 trouble lines: Maui, 871-7777; and Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi, 1-877-871-8461.

Maui Electric officials say crews are prepared to respond to any power outages for the duration of the storm.

With the current forecast of Iselle expected to impact Maui County through the evening and into Friday morning, in the interest of safety, MECO will close its customer service office in Kahului on Friday, Aug. 8.

“The safety of our customers and our employees is our highest priority,” said Kau‘i Awai-Dickson, Maui Electric spokeswoman. “We sincerely thank our customers in advance for their patience and understanding.”

As Iselle approaches, Maui Electric advises the public to take the following safety precautions:

Before the storm hits:

  • Turn off and unplug unnecessary electrical equipment, especially sensitive electronics which could be damaged by a power surge.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their highest settings. If power goes out, keep the fridge and freezer closed as much as possible and food will stay fresh longer. (Make sure to turn the settings back to normal levels after the storm has passed.)

If your power goes out:

  • If you plan to use a portable generator, make sure it is in a well-ventilated area, preferably outside. Don’t plug the generator directly to your household electrical outlets; this can cause power to flow back into power lines causing a safety hazard. Instead, plug appliances directly into the generator using heavy-duty extension cords.
  • Use flashlights instead of candles or kerosene lamps which can pose a fire risk. Be especially careful with cooking flames indoors as a gust of wind could start a fire.
  • Don’t use charcoal or other fossil fuels to cook indoors as they can create deadly carbon monoxide fumes. Cook only in well-ventilated areas.
  • Leave one light on so you’ll know when your power returns.

If you see a downed power line:

  • Do not touch fallen or low-hanging wires or anything the wires may be touching; assume every wire is still energized and dangerous. Stay clear of puddles where downed lines may have landed. Stay away and warn others to stay clear. Call the Maui Electric Trouble Line at 871-7777 on Maui or 1-877-871-8461 on Moloka‘i and Lana‘i. Call 911 for immediate emergency help.
  • If a power line has fallen on a car that you are in, stay inside the car if possible and wait for help. If you can, try to break contact with the line by driving the car away from it. If you need to get out of the car right away because of some other pending danger like fire, jump out and away from the car so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground and try to land with two feet. Shuffle-walk away. Do this to avoid having your body become an electrical path from the car to the ground.
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