East Hawaii News

UPDATE: Hurricane Recovery and Assistance Operations

August 12, 2014, 1:25 PM HST
* Updated August 14, 10:56 AM
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UPDATE: 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13: Civil Defense will re-open the disaster supply centers listed below at noon today.

At least three Hawai’i Island state parks remain closed (see list here) as of 1:44 p.m. Aug. 13. Other state parks have been opened. (Note this does not refer to county parks, see below for those closures.)

By 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, HELCO said that power had been restored to a further 1,500 customers. Due to more outages that were previously unreported, the current number of those customers without power stands at around 6,600 (full update at this link). Areas with power restored include: Hamakua, Ainaloa, Orchidland Estates, and portions of Upper Puna, Hawaiian Beaches and Hawaiian Paradise Park.

Also: see aerial footage of some of the hurricane damage here.

See our Iselle photo gallery, in chronological order of events, with before and after shots.

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Various government agencies and private companies continue to provide updates on recovery and assistance operations following Hurricane Iselle.

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HELCO reported at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 12,  that their crews continue to make progress on restoring power to customers affected by Iselle. An estimated 6,800, or about 8%, of customers remain without power, down from an estimated 8,100 on Monday.

Crews work to restore power to the remaining estimated 6,800 customers. Photo courtesy HELCO.

Crews work to restore power to the remaining estimated 6,800 customers. Photo courtesy HELCO.

HELCO crews have been re-deployed from West Hawai’i to join workers from Maui, Oahu, and East Hawai’i.

Electrical line crews expect to make progress in the following areas: Hamakua, Upper Puna, Ainaloa, Hawaiian Beaches, and Hawaiian Paradise Park. Contracted crews will also be working in Leilani Estates and Nanawale.

A worker picks through debris while clearing power lines in Hawaiian Paradise Park. Photo by Kristin Hashimoto.

A worker picks through debris while clearing power lines in Hawaiian Paradise Park. Photo by Kristin Hashimoto. (Click to enlarge.)

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Preliminary estimates by HELCO indicate it could take up to three weeks to restore power to the areas with the most significant damage, and in some cases even longer.

Civil Defense say that public supply centers will re-open Tuesday midday, Aug. 12 at the following locations:

  • Nanawale Estates Community Center
  • Leilani Estates Community Center
  • Kalani Honua Retreat
  • Hawaiian Shores Community Center

The limited supplies being distributed are mainly water and ice (for food and medicine preservation).

The Pahoa Pool is open for showers and phone charging from 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. The pool itself will re-open for swimming during regular hours.

All affected subdivisions currently have access to the highways and main roadways, though there may be debris and obstructions within the subdivision roadways, says Civil Defense.

Damage from Iselle on Friday morning, Aug. 8. Photo by Ilene Alford.

Damage from Iselle on Friday morning, Aug. 8. Photo by Ilene Alford.

The Department of Public Works, Hawaii National Guard and private contractors will be continuing with debris clearance and road-clearing operations.

Civil Defense reminds the public that all downed powerlines should be treated as energized and avoided to ensure safety.

HELCO continues to work on restoring power in the affected areas and the public is asked to not interfere with those crews.

AT&T reports that limited cellular service has been restored.

The Hawai'i National Guard is assisting in disaster recovery operations. Photo courtesy of Vern Miyagi, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

The Hawai’i National Guard is assisting in disaster recovery operations. Photo courtesy of Vern Miyagi, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

Uniformed Hawai‘i National Guard personnel are patrolling the affected areas in official National Guard vehicles, along with police and Community Emergency Response Teams to ensure public safety.

Damage assessments are ongoing and being conducted by the county Office of Housing and Community Development and the Hawai’i National Guard.

The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency and the county say they will set up Disaster Assistance and Recovery Centers (DARCs) to provide information and services to people whose property was damaged by Iselle.

The schedule and location for the Disaster Assistance and Recovery Centers is:

  • Thursday, Aug. 14 and Friday, Aug. 15 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Pahoa Community Center
  • Saturday, Aug. 16 and Sunday, Aug. 17 from 8 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Mountain View Gym

For more information on the DARCs, contact HI-EMA at (808) 733-4300 or [email protected]

The following county parks are still closed due to storm damage:

  • Hilo Trap & Skeet Range
  • Isaac Hale Beach Park
  • Ahalanui Park
  • Kolekole Beach Park

All other county parks are open, but officials advise the public to exercise caution as storm debris may still be in the area.

Registered voters assigned to the polling places that were cancelled on Saturday, Aug. 9 — Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Center and Keonepoko Elementary School — will have the opportunity to vote on Friday, Aug. 15 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Keonepoko Elementary School.

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