East Hawaii News

Utility pole broken in collision, causing power outage for portion of Hilo

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A vehicle collided with a utility pole at 7 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Kamana Street and Kino’ole Street in Hilo, causing 1,043 Hawaiian Electric customers, including the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, to lose power. Map from Google.

More than 1,000 Hawaiian Electric customers in Hilo were without power Tuesday morning after a utility pole was damaged in a vehicle collision on Kino‘ole Street.

Hawaiian Electric said via Twitter at 7:31 a.m. that 1,043 customers from Wainaku Street to Lanikāula Street were without power and crews were responding. The utility company reported at that time that the outage was because of a vehicle accident.

Hawaiian Electric spokeswoman Kristen Okinaka said the outage started at 7 a.m. The Hawai‘i Police Department said a vehicle collision was reported at the same time Tuesday. A vehicle traveling south on Kino‘ole Street near Lono Street went off the road and struck a utility pole. Okinaka reported the utility pole was near the intersection of Kamana Street and Kino’ole. The collision broke the pole, resulting in the outage.

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The driver of the vehicle involved in the collision was transported to Hilo Medical Center.

The area affected by the power outage from from Wainaku Street, along Kino‘ole and up Lanikāula Street, including Kamana Street and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

By 7:38 a.m., power had been restored to about 800 customers. About 240 customers were still without power by 7:50 a.m., with power restored to all but two customers by 9 a.m.

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Okinaka said power was able to be rerouted to restore most customers. Repairs included removing and replacing the damaged pole. Power would be restored to the last two customers as soon as those repairs were finished, she said.

Unrelated to the collision and resulting power outage, Hawaiian Electric crews on Tuesday were also performing emergency pole replacement on the Puna-bound lane of Kanoelehua Avenue (Highway 11) in Hilo. That work was scheduled for 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and required the right turn lane at the Kawailani Street intersection to be closed.

Motorists are asked to use alternate routes and drive with caution while the work continues in that area.

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Downed utility lines on Kanoelehua Avenue, between Kahaopea Street and Ahona Place, caused that portion of the highway to be closed for several hours the morning of Nov. 18.

Nathan Christophel
Nathan Christophel has more than 20 years of experience in journalism, starting out as a reporter and working his way up to become a copy editor and page designer, most recently at the Hawaii Tribune-Herald in Hilo.
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