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UPDATE: Thousands Lose Power in Nāhiku, Waiehu, Makawao

November 20, 2015, 7:22 AM HST · Updated November 20, 4:50 PM
Wendy Osher · 12 Comments
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Maui Electric Company. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui Electric Company. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Update: 3:40 p.m., 4 p.m., 11/20/15

Maui Electric crews have restored service to the approximately 400 customers in Haʻikū in the area of Kauhikoa who were without power after a vehicle sheared a utility pole along Kokomo Road between Ala Olu Place and Koi Koi Place around 6:14 a.m. today, company representatives said.

According to an afternoon update provided by Maui Electric, the vehicle-pole accident initially caused about 6,200 customers from Makawao to Keʻanae to lose power.

Maui Electric crews rerouted power to restore service to a majority of the Upcountry customers by 8 a.m. Crews replaced the damaged pole and repaired the downed lines will service fully restored by this afternoon. Crews are currently in the Nāhiku area working to restore service to approximately 200 remaining customers by 5 p.m. today.

Utility pole repairs, Maui, 11/20/15. Photo credit: Nikki Schenfeld

Utility pole repairs, Maui, 11/20/15. Photo credit: Nikki Schenfeld

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Update: 9:57 a.m., 12:20 p.m. 11/20/15:

Crews from Maui Electric Company are working to restore power to various parts of the island affected by power outages.

Maui Electric crews have restored electrical power to customers in Waiehu following heavy rains that caused trees to fall on overhead power lines last night. Crews continue to work in Haʻikū and Nāhiku to restore service to customers by this afternoon.

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“Due to heavy rains last night that caused trees to come down on power lines as well as a vehicle pole accident in Haiku, approximately 2,850 customers in areas of Waiehu, Haʻikū and Nāhiku are currently without power,” said Maui Electric Company spokesperson Kauʻi Awai Dickson.

Company representatives say Maui Electric crews were called to respond late last night and remain at multiple sites throughout the island working to restore power to affected customers.

Nāhiku to Hāna Outage: At approximately 7:20 p.m. Thursday night, heavy rains brought a tree down on power lines in the Nāhiku area causing about 200 customers to lose power from Nāhiku to Hāna.

Waiehu to Kahakuloa Outage: Around 11:16 p.m., about 800 customers in the Waiehu area lost power when a tree fell onto electrical lines. An hour later, another tree branch came down landing on a power line suspended 90-feet above a gulch and causing an additional 1,450 customers from Waiehu to Kahakuloa to lose power. Company representatives say access to the gulch was extremely difficult and dangerous.

Makawao to Keanae Outage: At approximately 6:14 a.m. Friday morning, a vehicle sheared a utility pole along Kokomo Road between Ala Olu Place and Koi Koi Place causing about 6,200 customers from Makawao to Keanae to lose power. Maui Electric crews rerouted power to restore service to a majority of the Upcountry customers by 8 a.m. Currently 400 customers in Haʻikū in the area of Kauhikoa remain without power. Maui Electric representatives say crews are working to replace the damaged pole and repair the downed lines to restore service by this afternoon.

The public is reminded to stay away from any downed lines or electrical equipment. Company representatives say, “Assume they are energized, or ‘live’, and dangerous.” The public is asked to report any outages, and/or downed power lines and poles, to the Maui Electric 24-7 Trouble Lines: Maui: 871-7777 and Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi: 1-877-871-8461.

Reminders to Customers Experiencing Extended Outages:

  • During a power outage, a fully-stocked free-standing freezer will keep most of your foods frozen for up to seventy-two hours — if you don’t open the door.
  • The freezer section of a refrigerator-freezer will keep most of your foods frozen ten to twenty-four hours. Try not to open the freezer door during an outage as you’ll let the cold air escape.
  • If power restoration is taking longer than anticipated, put some dry ice in the freezer. Always use gloves or tongs when handling it. Dry ice can be placed directly on top of your foods. Remember, dry ice cools foods below it.

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Original Post: 7:15 a.m. 11/20/15

Maui Electric crews are currently working at multiple sites to restore power as safely and quickly as possible, according to company representatives.

Wailuku/Waihee outage: The outage was reported before midnight and extends from Wailuku to Kahakuloa.  At 7:10 a.m., MECO officials said they anticipate power will be restored in 15 to 20 minutes.  (Note: Some customers in Wailuku are already reporting that their power has been restored.  The initial estimate may be longer for some customers affected by the outage.)

County officials temporarily closed the Waiehu Golf Course earlier this morning because of flooding and loss of power.

According to management at Fatt Chicks Burgers Brews and Grill, the restaurant is open and the Waiehu Golf Course has since reopened. The Waiehu Nights event will proceed as scheduled.

Haʻikū to Hāna outage:  A large outage was reported at around 7 a.m., right around the same time that a vehicle/pole accident was reported in the area.  Witnesses tell us the accident involved a truck that hit a utility pole a couple of blocks from the Haʻikū Market. Maui Electric Company crews are currently investigating the outage.

As a result of the vehicle accident, Kokomo Road in Haʻikū is closed between Ala Olu Place and Koi Koi Place due to a downed power line. MECO is on scene. Motorists are advised to avoid the area and drive safely.

*We will post additional details as they become available.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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