4,000 Still Without Power in West Maui

August 25, 2018, 2:33 PM HST · Updated August 25, 2:33 PM
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Maui Electric West Maui Hurricane Lane response.

Maui Electric crews continue to work on restoring power to about 4,000 customers in West Maui and pockets of Upcountry, Ha‘ikū and Waihe‘e today after these areas experienced outages due to heavy winds and downed trees.

Additional crews, contractors and resources, including crews from Hawaiian Electric Company, are being deployed to support these restorations, and efforts are focused on bringing as many customers back online as early as midnight tonight. However, due to the extensive damage and nature of the repair work needing to be done, customers should prepare for possible extended overnight outages.

Crews this morning have been able to access areas in West Maui that were earlier restricted due to the fire, and are making repairs to replace 6 severely damaged poles and downed transmission lines that feed the Lahaina area.

These repairs will take time, as they entail replacing all of the 6 damaged 45-to-50 foot tall poles, digging out new holes to reset the new poles, and then restringing the power lines above Lahaina. Once these repairs are made, the main substation can be reenergized and delivery of power to affected Lahaina area customers will begin in phases. This method of slow, gradual restoration is important in maintaining the stability of the system and the safe delivery of power.

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Based on current assessments and additional resources dedicated to the restoration efforts, Maui Electric expects to restore service to a majority of the Lahaina customers as early as midnight tonight. However, customers should still plan for extended overnight outages due to the extensive repairs involved and any unforeseen circumstances.

In parallel, crews continue to work on isolated pocket outages in the Upcountry area, Ha‘ikū, and Waihe‘e and expect to restore power to a majority of these areas by late this evening. Again, however, customers should still plan to be possibly without power overnight.

“We understand the need to know when power will be restored and we appreciate the public’s continued patience and understanding as we make major repairs to the system,” said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric. “We know everyone who was affected wants life and business to return to normal as soon as possible, and we want our customers to know that we won’t stop working until everyone is back on.”

Since Wednesday, Maui Electric has restored service to about 7,340 customers after impacts from Hurricane Lane, initially left approximately 11,450 customers without power on Maui and Moloka‘i.

Should customers experience any outages or encounter downed power lines, please report them to Maui Electric’s trouble line at 871-7777 on Maui or toll-free for Lānaʻi or Molokaʻi at 1-877-871-8461.

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