Update: Power outages in Hāmākua District to go on past Christmas

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Hawaiian Electric crews work to restore power to customers in the Hāmākua District. (Photo credit: Hawaiian Electric)

This story was updated at 7:35 p.m. on Dec. 22.

Approximately 650 Hawaiian Electric customers will remain without power past Christmas as crews continue to work toward restoring service following a severe storm earlier this week.

Crews from Hilo, Waimea and Kona have been working around the clock to repair damage caused by gusty winds and fallen trees. Additional crews from O‘ahu arrived today to help with repairs. All transmission lines have been restored and are back in service.

Customers in Ahualoa and the Waipi‘o Valley Road-Honoka‘a area remain without power. Because of the extensive damage, including 38 fallen spans of power lines in the Waipio Valley Road-Honoka‘a area, these 650 customers will not have their service restored until after Christmas, possibly not until the middle of next week, Hawaiian Electric officials reported this afternoon.

“We know this will disrupt holiday plans for families and we can only apologize and ask for customers’ understanding of the situation,” Hawaiian Electric spokesperson Kristen Okinaka said. “The safety of our crews and the public is our priority. Given the extent of the damage and the challenging terrain, everyone is working as quickly as they can and will continue working through the holiday weekend until the job is done.”


Hawaiian Electric crews will work through the holiday weekend, including Christmas, to replace poles, power lines and other equipment damaged by the storm.

Much of the damage is in remote areas that are difficult to access, and crews have had to hike off the main roads to make damage assessments and repairs. In addition, trees and tree branches continue to fall on lines after repairs are completed.

Today, the majority of crews are working in the Ahualoa area. Once all major power lines are restored, crews will begin restoring neighborhoods and individual service lines until all customers are restored. For more information on our power restoration steps, visit

The County of Hawai‘i has opened an emergency shelter at the Honoka‘a Sports Complex for residents with storm damage or no power to their homes.

Red Cross volunteers will work with those affected to provide immediate assistance. Island residents and visitors coming to the shelter are advised to bring anything they may need, especially essentials like food, bedding, medicine, important documentation and personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks and sanitizer.


Pets are welcome if they are kept in a hard-case kennel; owners are responsible for providing pet food and necessities. 

Hawaiian Electric’s call center has been receiving a high volume of calls and asks the community to help keep phone lines open and report safety concerns such as downed or sparking lines. To report a safety concern or an outage outside of the Ahualoa and Waipi‘o Valley-Honoka‘a areas, call 808-969-6666.

Original post:

Hawaiʻi County has opened a shelter at the Honokaʻa Gymnasium as a last resort in anticipation of extended power outages in the area due to damages from the recent Kona Low weather system that impacted various areas of Hawaiʻi Island.

The neighborhoods of Ahualoa and Kukuihaele are particularly impacted. Hawaiian Electric has been working to restore power to impacted communities and is bringing in additional crews from neighboring islands to help with restoration in the Honokaʻa area.


According to a tweet by Hawaiian Electric, crews are clearing trees, and repairs are estimated to be completed sometime today for Ahualoa.

“Hopefully no new issues arise,” the power company stated.

The shelter has access to power, and the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army will be on-site to assist in County efforts. The shelter is also pet friendly.

“We’ve been in constant communication with Hawaiian Electric through the storm and continue to work together to ensure that essential services are restored to our residents in a timely manner,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “DPW Crews have been working around the clock to clear debris and repair roadways so that Hawaiian Electric is able to do their critical work. We owe those on the frontlines our deepest gratitude as they continue to selflessly serve our communities through the holiday season.”

Residents impacted by the Kona Low weather system are asked to fill out the Civil Defenses Damage Assessment:

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