UPDATE: Gusty Winds Causing Power Outages
by Dave Smith
***Updated at 6:45 p.m. to correct areas where power had been restored.***
Trees downed by gusty winds generated by Tropical Storm Flossie caused several power outages in Puna and Hilo, Hawaii Electric Light Co. said.
Downed power lines along Highway 132 cut electricity to 2,200 HELCO customers from Nanawale Estates to Kalapana.
Police earlier reported that the road also known as the Keaau-Kapoho road was closed by downed trees between Nanawale Boulevard to Lava Tree State Monument. They later said the closure was extended to the four-corners intersection in Kapoho.
Further down, another road closure was affecting Pohoiki Road from its intersection with Highway 132 down to Leilani Avenue.
HELCO said other outages today affected 2,800 customers from Volcano to Glenwood and 1,300 customers in the Panaewa section of Hilo.
At about 2 p.m., the utility reported that service had been restored to customers in the Panaewa, Kurtistown and Mountain View areas.
Additional power outages and voltage disturbances are possible as long as the storm conditions continue, HELCO said.
The public was also again urged to avoid fallen or low-hanging power lines or anything in which they may be in contact, including puddles.
Call HELCO at 969-666 to report outages or downed power lines.
Posted at 12:09 p.m.:
In what may be the first tangible effects from Tropical Storm Flossie, police announced shortly before noon that a road in Puna was closed by downed trees and power lines.
The closure is located on Highway 132, also known as the Pahoa-Kapoho Road, between the Nanawale Estates subdivision and the Lava Tree State Monument.
That stretch of road is known for its massive canopy of albizia trees. The tall and brittle trees have required periodic trimming and thinning.
Police are recommending that motorists use Leilani Avenue to bypass the area.