UPDATE: Landslide, Flooding, Downed Line Cause Closures
***Updated at 1:20 p.m. to include information from the Hawai’i Electric Light and Hawai’i County Civil Defense.***
Kuakini Highway remains closed after a large ficus tree fell onto the roadway damaging multiple power lines and poles, according to Hawai’i Electric Light.
The incident happened just after 10 a.m., according to a tweet from Hawai’i Electric Light’s twitter account.
Rhea Lee-Moku, Hawai’i Electric Light spokesperson, told Big Island Now that extensive damage was caused by the fallen tree. Three power poles were broken and six bands of power lines were brought down.
Approximately 320 customers between the Kailua Industrial Area and the Crossroads Center lost power. Lee-Moku said that emergency switching was done to re-route power to as many affected customers as possible. As of 1:30 p.m., approximately 30 people remained without power and would not have it restored until repairs are made.
Lee-Moku said that repairs are expected to be completed in the area sometime Tuesday night. She said that crews on scene are “working as quick as they can,” but that safety and restoring services properly in the area is their first priority.
In addition to the Kailua-Kona closures, Hawai’i County Civil Defense says that the closures at the one lane closure at the Kawalii Gulch and full closure at Kahana Drive remain in effect, as of 1:30 p.m. These closures so not have an estimated reopening timeframe.
***Updated at 11:50 a.m. to include information from the Hawai’i Police Department.***
The Hawai’i Police Department reports that in addition to the Kahana Drive and Kawalii Gulch road closures, Kuakini Highway is also closed between Palani Road and Kaiwi Street as a result of a tree falling into utility lines.
The closure is expected to last the next eight to 10 hours as Department of Public Works crews work to remove the tree.
King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel guests are being diverted through the nearby Honda dealership to access the hotel parking lot.
According to authorities, electrical service has also been affected.
Motorists are advised to use alternate routes if posible.
Big Island Now will continue to update road situations and electricla outages as information becomes available.
***Updated at 8:50 a.m. to include additional and updated Hawai’i Police Department information.***
The Hawai’i Police Department initially said that Kahana Drive was closed in an area three to four miles above Ahualoa Road due to a landslide, however, HPD has since clarified that the Kahana Drive closure is a result of flooding, and is in effect between the three and four mile markers.
A landslide has caused the closure of the Hilo-bound lane of Highway 19 at Kawalii Gulch, as the landslide is blocking the roadway.
Delays in the Kawalii Gluch area are expected to last up to two hours as traffic takes turns using the open side of the roadway.
State Highways workers are on the scene to clear the debris.
***Original story posted at 8:12 a.m.***
Kahana Drive is currently closed about three to four miles above Ahualoa Road in Honoka’a.
The Hawai’i Police Department reports that the closure is due to a landslide.
Authorities say maintenance crews have been dispatched to the area.
There is no estimated reopening time and no additional details are currently available.
Stick with Big Island Now as we continue to follow this story.