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Hawaiian Electric Companies Work to Restore Power – Lanai Still Without

In the aftermath of powerful windstorms that swept through the state on Saturday, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light crews continue their work today to restore service to thousands of customers who remain without power.

Photos via Francine Grace

Winds remain gusty across the islands today and more outages are likely.

According to preliminary assessments, damage to electrical equipment from the windstorms was some of the most widespread in years, affecting customers on each of the five islands served by Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light.

Presently, all 1,700 customers on Lanai are without power and are being asked to plan for an extended outage as crews work to safely restore power.

On Oahu, there were more than 100 separate outages in the past 24 hours, affecting about 100,000 customers. All but about 1,900 in Palolo had been restored by this morning and there are still dozens of localized outages across the island, including in Makaha, Waianae, Wahiawa, Manoa and Kalihi.

After high winds snapped or damaged 19 utility poles on Lanai yesterday, Maui Electric crews are continuing restoration efforts today. The estimated time of restoration for Lanai City is by 11 p.m. tonight, with the Manele area to follow by Monday evening.

On Maui, crews are working to restore about 560 customers in pockets of Upcountry Maui and Paia.

On Molokai, Hawaii Electric Light crews will arrive later today to assist Maui Electric with the restoration of power to a radio tower. Currently no other customers are out.

Hawaii island experienced scattered outages caused by branches in lines, affecting about 7,500 customers over the past 24 hours. The largest outage was in the Waimea-Kawaihae area affecting about 2,700 customers Saturday night. All customers on the island have been restored.

Customers are reminded to stay away from downed power lines since they could be energized and are extremely dangerous.

When lines from a utility pole fall to the ground, touch a guardrail or land on a car, please remember:

  • Do not touch these lines. Stay away from downed power lines – at least 30 feet or more.
  • Report downed lines immediately by calling Hawaiian Electric’s Trouble Line; the number is 1-855-304-1212, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • If you see someone injured after touching a downed power line, call 9-1-1 for help.
    • Don’t try to rescue the individual because electrical current can travel through them to you and you risk becoming a victim yourself.
    • Warn others to stay away.
  • Always assume downed power lines are energized and dangerous.
  • A downed line touching a fence or guard rail can energize it for several thousand yards and pose a hazard to anyone coming into contact with these structures. Don’t run away; instead, keep your legs together and shuffle away with both feet on the ground to a safe distance (30 feet or more).
  • If a power line falls on your car while you are inside, follow these instructions:
    • Remain where you are, if possible, and call and wait for help.
    • If you must get out of the car because of a fire or other hazard, jump free of the car, hopping with both feet together so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground.
    • Once you clear the car, shuffle at least 30 feet away, with both feet on the ground.
  • Never step down or simultaneously touch the ground and equipment that is in contact with the power line, as this will increase the risk of electrical shock.

Big Island Police Investigating Officer-Involved Shooting

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred around 1 a.m. Sunday morning (January 22) in Papaʻikou.
While conducting checks for a late-model Toyota Tacoma and an early-model Nissan Altima that were reported stolen from a home in Pepeʻekeo, a South Hilo Patrol officer encountered both vehicles, as well as a light-green Honda Civic sedan, on Enoka Place in Papaʻikou.

As the officer approached the three vehicles and exited his subsidized vehicle, the driver in the Honda drove directly toward him. In response, the officer discharged his service weapon in the direction of the Honda’s driver, who swerved around and drove past the officer, fleeing the area. Immediately following the Honda was the Nissan. The Nissan’s driver was stopped and arrested. The Toyota drove up Enoka Place and was found abandoned.

The officer who discharged his firearm has nearly six years experience as a police officer and was not injured.

Police arrested 18-year-old Royden Kekoa Wilbur, who has no permanent address, on suspicion of second-degree theft. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

Detectives are also investigating the possibility that the Honda involved in this incident may be the same Honda that was reported stolen from a shopping center on Makaʻala Street earlier in the evening and are checking nearby businesses for video footage. The Honda stolen from Makaʻala Street is described as a turquoise 2000 Honda Civic four-door sedan bearing license plate ZDH 926.

Police have initiated an attempted first-degree murder investigation, as well as an additional second-degree theft case and an attempted second-degree theft case.

As is standard practice in any police shooting, the Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigations Section will conduct a criminal investigation into the shooting and the Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation.

Police ask anyone who observed a light-green Honda Civic on Route 19 shortly after 1 a.m. to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Sandor Finkey at 961-2384 or sandor.finkey@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

National Park Service Rangers Seeking Witnesses to Fatal Accident

National Park Service rangers are seeking witnesses to a fatal two-vehicle accident that occurred on Highway 11 at the Nāmakanipaio Campground intersection in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Saturday afternoon.

Nāmakanipaio Campground (NPS Photo)

Witnesses to the accident are asked to call Park Dispatch at (808) 985-6170, and may remain anonymous.

Rangers reported that a white Hyundai Elantra and a blue Toyota Scion were involved in the traffic accident about 1 p.m. The driver of the Hyundai, a 65-year-old man from New Jersey, was fatally injured. The other driver, a 33-year-old local male, was transported to Hilo Medical Center by ambulance.

Rangers and bystanders performed CPR on the 65-year-old male, then a medic unit from the Hawai‘i County Fire Department arrived and took over patient care. The man was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel.

Both men were the sole occupants of their vehicles.

The accident caused a complete closure of Highway 11 between mile markers 32 and 34 for several hours Saturday afternoon while officials investigated the scene. Both lanes of the highway were open by 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Hawai‘i County Police Department is aiding the NPS in the investigation.

The identification of the victims is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.