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Hawai‘i Electric Light Warns of Possible Power Interruptions

May 28, 2018, 10:52 AM HST (Updated May 28, 2018, 10:52 AM)
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Hawai‘i Electric Light is warning customers that power interruptions are likely if the lava continues to advance toward Highway 132.

Aerial view of the ocean-entry areas at about 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 27, 2018. Lava flowing into the ocean diminished overnight and this morning (note lack of obvious plume at the entry areas). View is toward the northwest. Photograph courtesy of Civil Air Patrol. (Click to enlarge)

The company has been monitoring lava activity and is ready to implement its plans to perform planned switching to reroute power to customers in the lower Puna areas. This work will begin at about 3:00 p.m., Monday, May 28, however may occur sooner if conditions change. During switching operations, customers in the following areas will experience a power interruption for about one hour.

  • Leilani Estates
  • Kamaili Road
  • Kalapana and surrounding communities including Black Sands Beach, Kalapana
    Seaview Estates, Kehena Beach, and Puna Beach Palisades
  • Nanawale Estates and Nanawale Farm Ranch
  • Tangerine Acres
  • Pāhoa High School
  • And areas surrounding these subdivisions

The areas in and around Kapoho will experience an extended power outage if lava breaches Highway 132. Power in the Kapoho area will not be restored until we are able to complete a full assessment and implement alternative plans to serve this area once it is safe for company personnel to do so.

“Hawai‘i Electric Light appreciates its customers’ patience and understanding,” said Rhea Lee-Moku, company spokesperson. “The switching work is being completed as a precaution to minimize the duration of power interruptions in the event utility equipment is impacted by lava.”

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Lava has damaged and destroyed a lot of utility equipment. Everyone should treat lines, transformers, and other utility equipment as energized even if the equipment is on the ground. Stay away from downed or low-hanging power lines. Assume they are energized and dangerous. If you see someone injured after touching a downed power line, call 9-1-1 for help.

The Hawai‘i Electric Light website https://www.hawaiielectriclight.com/lava also provides the latest information for customers affected by the eruption and for those who may have questions about billing and service during the emergency. Customers also may call (808) 969-6999 for questions regarding their electric account.

Information also is available on the company’s Twitter (@HIElectricLight) and Facebook (HawaiianElectric) accounts.

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