East Hawaii News

Big Island Returning to Pre-Flossie Normalcy

July 30, 2013, 4:33 PM HST
* Updated July 31, 11:27 AM
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Life for Big Island residents was getting back to normal today following their brush with Tropical Storm Flossie.

The National Weather Service said the remnant of the system was continuing its westward journey at a speed of about 18 mph. At 2 p.m., it was located 225 miles northwest of Lihue, Kauai.

All watches and warnings had been cancelled, the weather service said, except for a high-surf advisory for east-facing shores of Oahu and Kauai.

County employees were back at work following the impromptu day off called for safety reasons by Mayor Billy Kenoi for non-essential workers.

All parks and other facilities run by the county and most of those under state control also reopened this morning.

The exceptions were the state’s Ainapo trail and cabin, Pololu trail, and Waimanu trail and campground as the Department of Land and Natural Resources still needed to complete an assessment of possible damage done by Flossie’s wind and rain.

Those assessments were completed this afternoon and the cabin, trails and campground will reopen Wednesday, the DLNR said.

Operations at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park were back to normal today with only minimal disruptions from the storm, spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane said.

A crew did have to remove a koa tree more than a foot in diameter that fell across the Mauna Loa Road, she said.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park fire crew members Andrew Lee, left, and Al Aviles buck a large fallen koa tree on Mauna Loa Road this morning.  Photo by J. Ferracane/NPS.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park fire crew members Andrew Lee, left, and Al Aviles buck a large fallen koa tree on Mauna Loa Road this morning.
Photo by J. Ferracane/NPS.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. said today that power had been restored to all of its customers who experienced power outages resulting from the storm.

The outages began at 10:53 a.m. Monday and continued through the early evening, affecting a total of about 12,500 customers, said HELCO spokeswoman Kristen Okinaka.

Those affected were located in lower and upper Puna, Hilo and Kona.

Electricity was restored to all but 200 of the customers by 5:50 p.m. Monday, with the remainder regaining power by 2:30 a.m. today, Okinaka said.

About 600 customers in the Mauna Lani area of South Kohala were also affected by a power outage Monday caused by an underground cable fault. The outage occurred at 7:09 p.m., and service was restored by 10:05 p.m.

HELCO crews this morning were also working to restore service to three customers who reported storm-related outages this morning.

Okinaka said anyone needing to report problems with their service should call 969-6666 for assistance.

Meanwhile, Hawaii State Civil Defense offered tips for those who suffered storm-related damage.

Damage should be reported to local civil defense agencies, both for the homeowner’s benefit and to give emergency managers a complete picture of Flossie’s impacts, said agency spokeswoman Shelly Kunishige.

Keeping complete records, including taking photos of any damage to homes or businesses or their contents, will assist with the filing of insurance claims. That will also make it easier to qualify for any aid that might become available, she said.

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