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Power Still Out For 17,200 HELCO customers

August 8, 2014, 5:47 PM HST
* Updated August 8, 5:52 PM
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Power remains out in large areas of the Big Island after being hit hard by Iselle Thursday night. At 12:15 p.m. Friday Hawaii Electric Light Company said 17,200 customers were still without power around the island.

Crews are out working to restore power but damage is widespread and extensive, HELCO said. Communities affected by the power outages include Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaiian Shores, Hawaiian Beaches, Kapoho, Mountain View, Pahoa town, portions of the Hamakua Coast, Wood Valley, Kapaala Ranch and Kulani, Hawaii County Civil Defense, reported.

HELCO provided no estimate for when power would be restored in any of the areas. Some residents in Hawaiian Paradise Park reported being told it could take up to a week before power is fully restored.

Shelters will remain open in Laupahoehoe, Honka’a, Ka’u and Pahoa, said Civil Defense officials Friday morning.

Meanwhile Tropical storm Iselle has moved southwest of Hawaii and continues to move away from land, the National Weather Service said Friday afternoon.

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Hurricane Julio, however, remains on a track that would take its storm center north of the Hawaiian Islands late Sunday into Monday, the National Weather Sevice said.

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Fallen trees, debris and downed power lines have also caused numerous road closures.

HELCO cautions residents not to approach any downed line, and to always assume downed lines are energized and dangerous. Downed lines may be reported to Helco at 969-6666. Reports should include a nearby pole number or a street address.

Highway 132 at Nanawale remains closed, though traffic is detouring through Leilani Estates; Highway 11, Volcano  Highway, between the 53 and 63 mile markers from Kaaawa Flats to Naalehu remains closed; and Highway 250, or Kohala Mountain Road, remains closed for the entire length of the road.

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Additional roads reported closed since the latest Civil Defense update at 9 a.m. include Mauna Lani Road near near the 17 mm on Highway 11; the Old Mamalahoa Scenic Route due to a landslide; and the Wood Valley Road due to the bridge washing away just before the coffee mill.

The Department of Environmental Management expects to reopen its landfills and transfer stations Saturday morning, weather permitting, a statement said.

And the last day of voting in the state primary election is also expected to take place Saturday with walk-in balloting at all designated polling stations on the Big Island.

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