Hawaii Lava Flow Update – Lava Resurfaces Along Crack

Lava resurfaces along crack, continues advancing through thick forest

The leading edge of the June 27th lava flow plunged into a deep crack on Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone last week, and lava within the crack remained hidden for several days.

Over the past day, lava returned to the surface at a point slightly farther along the crack, creating a small island of lava surrounded by thick forest. Click to enlarge

Over the past day, lava returned to the surface at a point slightly farther along the crack, creating a small island of lava surrounded by thick forest. Click to enlarge

The farthest tip of the flow today was 11.4 km (7.1 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and 3.1 km (1.9 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve.

A view of the small pad of lava that has emerged from the crack over the past day. The lava pad was about 800 m (0.5 miles) long, and was about 1.3 km (0.8 miles) east of the point where lava plunged into the crack. Click to enlarge

A view of the small pad of lava that has emerged from the crack over the past day. The lava pad was about 800 m (0.5 miles) long, and was about 1.3 km (0.8 miles) east of the point where lava plunged into the crack. Click to enlarge

Another view of the isolated pad of lava that has emerged from the crack. This view is towards the east, along the East Rift Zone.

The spot at which lava flowed into the crack is to the west, out of view beyond the bottom of the photograph. Click to enlarge

The spot at which lava flowed into the crack is to the west, out of view beyond the bottom of the photograph. Click to enlarge

View of the pad of lava with the equivalent view from a thermal camera.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater remains partly obscured by thick fume.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

In particular, the northeastern portion of the crater (bottom left part of image) has recently been entirely obscured to the naked eye, but the thermal camera provides a clear view through the fume, revealing a small lava pond.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

UPDATE: Where the Lava Flow is Now

Map showing the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone as of August 25, 2014.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow as mapped on August 22 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of August 25 is shown in red. The brown line marks the ground crack that channeled lava to the east, where it emerged to form a new pad of lava over the past couple of days. The distal tip of this new lava pad is 11.4 km east-northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and 3.1 km from the edge of the Wao Kele O Puna Forest Reserve.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

A more northerly branch of the flow, which intersected the southern edge of an older flow, has declined in vigor over the last couple of days. All older lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray. The thin yellow line marks a portion of the lava tube feeding the flow.

U.S. Court Overturns Law Limiting Biotech Crops on Kauai

A group of global biotech crop companies won a court victory on Monday that blocks enactment of a law passed last year limiting the planting of biotech crops and use of pesticides on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren of the U.S. District Court in Hawaii ruled that the law passed in November by local leaders on the island was invalid because it was pre-empted by Hawaii state law.

The Kauai law required large agricultural companies to disclose pesticide use and genetically modified (GMO) crop plantings while establishing buffer zones around schools, homes and hospitals to protect people from exposure to pesticides used on the crops…

More Here: U.S. court overturns law limiting biotech crops on Hawaiian island

 

Senator Schatz Urges President Obama, FEMA for Major Disaster Declaration for Hawaii

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) wrote letters to President Barack Obama and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate today supporting the State of Hawai‘i’s request for a major disaster declaration due to damages caused by Tropical Storm Iselle from August 7-9, 2014.

Senator Brian Schatz  in Puna.

Senator Brian Schatz in Puna.

“Tropical Storm Iselle caused strong winds, heavy rain, flooding, high surf, storm surge, and lightning, which resulted in damages reported across all four counties in the State of Hawai‘i,” Senator Schatz wrote. “Hawai‘i County has a majority of the damages where it experienced loss of power and a lack of access to water. Hawai‘i County also has widespread debris that made it difficult for residents to access emergency services. Furthermore, preliminary damage assessments estimate that the total loss and damage to the island of Hawai‘i in agriculture and commodities is $66 million. With all available state and local level resources being used, federal assistance is needed to support our communities’ recovery.”

Senator Schatz also expressed his support for the State’s request for Individual Assistance for Hawai‘i County, statewide Hazard Mitigation, and Small Business Administration loan assistance programs to help with the recovery.

Since Tropical Storm Iselle made landfall, Senator Schatz’s office has been in close contact with the White House to discuss the impact of the storm and how the federal government can help residents and communities rebuild. Last week, Senator Schatz traveled to Puna and met with Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi’s cabinet, HELCO, State Senator Russell Ruderman, Director of Civil Defense Darryl Oliveira, representatives from the Big Island Invasive Species Council, and the U.S. Forest Service, to begin the process of developing a hazard mitigation plan for albizia trees, which damaged infrastructure and caused widespread debris on Hawai‘i Island.

The full text of the letter to President Obama follows:

August 25, 2014

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I write in support of Governor Neil Abercrombie’s request for a major disaster declaration for the State of Hawai‘i due to damages caused by Tropical Storm Iselle from August 7-9, 2014.

On August 7, 2014, Hurricane Iselle approached the Hawaiian Islands and made landfall on August 8, 2014, which then became a tropical storm. The Governor declared a statewide state of emergency on August 6, 2014 and signed a supplemental proclamation on August 14, 2014, which extended the state of emergency until October 17, 2014. Tropical Storm Iselle caused strong winds, heavy rain, flooding, high surf, storm surge, and lightning, which resulted in damages reported across all four counties in the State of Hawai‘i. Hawai‘i County has a majority of the damages where it experienced loss of power and a lack of access to water. Hawai‘i County also has widespread debris that made it difficult for residents to access emergency services. Furthermore, preliminary damage assessments estimate that the total loss and damage to the island of Hawai‘i in agriculture and commodities is $66 million. With all available state and local level resources being used, federal assistance is needed to support our communities’ recovery.

Pursuant to Section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5121-5207), and implemented by 44 CFR § 206.36, I ask that you swiftly approve Governor Abercrombie’s request that the State of Hawai‘i receive a major disaster declaration. Specifically, I support the Governor’s request for Individual Assistance for Hawai‘i County. I also support his request for Hazard Mitigation statewide and Small Business Administration loan assistance programs.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need additional information.

Regards,

BRIAN SCHATZ
United States Senator

Where The Lava Flow is NOW

Map showing the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone as of August 22, 2014.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow as mapped on August 12 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of August 22 is shown in red. The heavy brown line marks the extent of steaming along a ground crack into which lava is flowing. Though lava is not visible within the crack, it is inferred that lava is using the crack as a pathway to continue its advance to the northeast.

hvo106A more northerly branch of the flow is entering a different part of the forest about midway along the length of the flow. All older lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray. The thin yellow line marks a portion of the lava tube feeding the flow

Puna Trail to Shipman Beach Closed Until Further Notice

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife has closed the Puna hiking trail until further notice, due to severe tree fall caused by Hurricane Iselle.

Various types of trees, including the invasive Allbizia were knocked down by the winds of hurricane Iselle as it landed on the eastern coast of Hawaii island on August 8, 2014.    Photo by Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

Various types of trees, including the invasive Allbizia were knocked down by the winds of hurricane Iselle as it landed on the eastern coast of Hawaii island on August 8, 2014. Photo by Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

These downed trees are blocking access to Haena (Shipman) beach in the South Hilo area.

The Puna trail is managed by DLNR's Division of Forestry and Wildlife as part of the Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program trails inventory.  This coastal rainforest was decimated by hurricane Iselle on August 8, 2014.  Photo by Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

The Puna trail is managed by DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife as part of the Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program trails inventory. This coastal rainforest was decimated by hurricane Iselle on August 8, 2014. Photo by Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

“Removal of these downed trees will take DOFAW crews some time to complete,”said Steven Bergfeld,  DOFAW Hawaii branch manager.

Closeup shows young growth that was toppled by strong hurricane winds.  Photo by Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

Closeup shows young growth that was toppled by strong hurricane winds. Photo by Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

“DOFAW appreciates the public’s cooperation and understanding the need to keep this trail closed for public safety until it can be cleared,”he said.

“Aloha Puna” Fundraiser Shirts to Benefit HIUW for Puna Recovery Efforts

Locally owned and operated Big Island companies – Creative Arts Hawaii, Aloha Grown and Parker Ranch Store – have come together to design and print exclusive limited edition “ALOHA PUNA” fundraiser shirts, in an effort to assist our Puna community in need.

Aloha Puna

The “ALOHA PUNA” shirts will be sold for $20.00 each with all proceeds to benefit the Hawaii Island United Way (HIUW) for recovery efforts in Puna.

According to Connie Kurohara, VP Creative Arts Hawaii, Aloha Grown and Parker Ranch Store, “It has been so heartwarming to see Big Island residents, as well as those abroad, come out to support our Puna community. As many families have a long road ahead after the destruction of Hurricane Iselle, we just want to do our part to kokua with recovery efforts. At Aloha Grown, our mission is to support local, sustain the aina, and share the aloha…and we intend to do just that.”

“ALOHA PUNA” fundraiser shirts will be available for purchase at the Aloha Grown store in downtown Hilo (224 Kamehameha Ave), Creative Arts Hawaii in Keaukaha, Hilo (500 Kalanianaole Ave) and the Parker Ranch store in Waimea (Parker Ranch Center). For more information, visit www.alohapuna.com.

 

SNAP Reimbursement Deadline Extended for Maui County and Hawaii Island

The federal Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), which administers states’ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP) formerly known as Food Stamps, has extended Hawaii’s reimbursement deadline for food spoiled during Tropical Storm Iselle.

Snap Card

Hawaii SNAP administrators requested the extension through Aug. 30, 2014 to provide thousands of Hawaii Island and Maui County households additional time to apply for assistance.  Due to storm damage and debris, many individuals and families were unable to leave their homes by the original deadline.

Reimbursement is limited to the actual dollar value of food destroyed and cannot exceed the household’s current monthly allotment. To qualify, the individual or household must have been receiving SNAP benefits when the disaster occurred, and report the food spoilage to the Department of Human Services (DHS) Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division (BESSD) office on their island by Aug. 30, 2014.

Individual or household applying for reimbursement must provide the DHS BESSD a signed statement that includes the following information:

1)        Name of the storm and dates of impact;

2)        General list of food items lost due to storm related power outage;

3)        Length of time household power was out;

4)        Statement that the household is aware of the penalties for the intentional misrepresentation of the facts; and

5)        Statement that the household is aware that SNAP replacement allotment will not be issued if the required statement is not signed and returned by the specified deadline.

Natural disasters affect everyone in striking range.  However, elderly and/or disabled individuals, families with infants and minor children, and families with limited income are disproportionately affected because they are lack the necessary resources to replenish food supplies or other basic necessities.  It is these populations that make up the estimated 98,000 Hawaii households that currently receive SNAP benefits.

To reach the BESSD offices in Maui County call on Maui 808-984-3300; on Molokai 808-553-1751; and on Lanai 808-565-7102.  To reach the Hilo BESSD Office call 808-981-7288.

 

HELCO Warns of New Scams After Hurricane Iselle

Hawaii Electric Light Company reminds customers to be aware of scams targeting Hawaii Island customers in the wake of Tropical Storm Iselle.

Customers reported receiving telephone calls from someone claiming to be a Hawaii Electric Light claims representative. The customers were asked to provide their social security number. The company also received reports of individuals wearing safety vests and climbing fences and gates to access homes.

Hawaii Electric Light will not contact customers to request personal information or direct customers to submit payments via options other than those listed on the back of the billing statement. The company also will not access private property without first notifying the customer. Employees and approved contractors wear photo identification badges and their vehicles are clearly marked.

For your safety and protection:

  • Never provide personal, confidential or financial information to an unidentified individual.
  • Ask questions or ask for proper identification. Request the individual’s name, company name, and phone number.
  • Be cautious when responding to callers from an unidentified phone number. Phone scammers want to remain anonymous.
  • Be aware that today’s technology can be used to mask the caller’s phone number and the caller ID could indicate the call is originating from Hawai’i Electric Light, even though it is not.
  • Report any suspicious activity to local police.

To obtain a claim form, please visit one of our customer service locations in Hilo, Waimea or Kona or visit our website at www.hawaiielectriclight.com.

Shaka For HELCO

Lava Flow Continues to Advance – Could Become Threat to Residential Areas in Weeks to Months

The June 27th lava flow, named for the date it began erupting, continues to advance to the northeast of its vent on the flank of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone.  As of Friday, August 22, the front of the flow was 10.7 km (6.6 mi) northeast of the vent.

hvo106

According to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) Scientist-in-Charge Jim Kauahikaua, the lava flow is not an immediate threat to residential areas or infrastructure downhill of the flow, but could become one in weeks to months if lava continues to advance.

This view is to the east, with the forested cone of Heiheiahulu partly obscured by the smoke plume from this angle. (Click to Enlarge)

This view is to the east, with the forested cone of Heiheiahulu partly obscured by the smoke plume from this angle. (Click to Enlarge)

HVO scientists, who mapped the flow during an overflight Friday morning, report that the flow was active along two fronts. The northern branch was advancing northeastward across fairly flat land, while the southern branch had flowed into a ground crack within the rift zone. By tracing the steam issuing from the crack, lava is inferred to have advanced 1.4 km (0.9 mi) over the past 4 days, putting it 3.8 km (2.4 mi) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve.

hvo108

The difficulty in forecasting the flow’s exact path is that “downhill of the flow” can be affected by subtle variations in topography (shape and features of the ground surface), changes in lava supply (volume increases or decreases), and where and how lava enters or exits ground cracks along the rift zone.

Kilauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone eruption began in January 1983.  Since then, most lava flows have advanced to the south, reaching the ocean about 75 precent of the time.  But the northeastward movement of the June 27th lava flow is not unprecedented.  Lava flows also traveled northeast of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō episodically in 1983-1986 and for four months in 2007, as well as during the past 19 months.  The most distal point reached by the Kahauale‘a and Kahauale‘a 2 lava flows, which were active from early 2013 until June 2014, was 8.8 km (5.5 mi) northeast of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō.

HVo107

The June 27th lava flow is advancing through a heavily forested area on Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone. This area of the rift zone is exceedingly hazardous to hikers as it is highly fractured, with numerous, deep ground cracks that are difficult to see because of the heavy vegetation. Another hazard in the area includes methane explosions that occur when lava flows over vegetated land.

The June 27th lava flow is currently within the Kahauale‘a Natural Area Reserve, which has been closed by the Hawaii State Department of Natural Land and Resources (DLNR) due to the ongoing volcanic hazards, and the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, also closed by DLNR and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

hvo109

HVO continues to closely monitor the June 27th lava flow through increased overflights, satellite imagery, and webcam images, and is keeping Hawai‘i County Civil Defense fully informed about the flow’s location. The public can track the lava flow activity through maps, photos, and daily eruption updates posted on the HVO website at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilaueastatus.php. Should the lava flow become an immediate threat to residential areas or infrastructure, HVO will begin posting more frequent updates.

Gov. Abercrombie Signs Formal Request for Presidential Disaster Declaration

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed a request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration asking for federal assistance to help pay for damage caused by Tropical Storm Iselle, which impacted Hawaii from Aug. 7 to 9, 2014.

Shaka For HELCOThe request seeks Individual Assistance for Hawaii County. Individual Assistance would make additional funding, loans and services available to affected residents.

For updates on Iselle recovery efforts, visit the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency website at: scd.hawaii.gov

Scams Targeting Iselle Victims Being Reported by HELCO

Hawaii Electric Light Company has been informed of scams targeting Hawaii Island customers in the wake of Tropical Storm Iselle.

HELCO SCAM

Customers reported receiving telephone calls from someone claiming to be a Hawaii Electric Light claims representative. The customers were asked to provide their social security number.

Hawaii Electric Light wants to remind customers that the utility will not contact customers to request personal information or direct customers to submit payments via options other than those listed on the back of the billing statement.

For your safety and protection:

  • Never provide personal, confidential or financial information to an unidentified individual.
  • Ask questions or ask for proper identification. Request the individual’s name, company name, and phone number.
  • Be cautious when responding to callers from an unidentified phone number. Phone scammers want to remain anonymous.
  • Be aware that today’s technology can be used to mask the caller’s phone number and the caller ID could indicate the call is originating from Hawai‘i Electric Light, even though it is not.
  • Report any suspicious activity to local police.

To obtain a claim form, please visit one of our customer service locations in Hilo, Waimea or Kona or visit our website at www.hawaiielectriclight.com.

Video – Hurricane Iselle Disaster and Aftermath

Hurricane Iselle hit Hawaii on August 7th and caused severe damage to the Big Island. This video shows the Kapoho area.

Video – Hurricane Iselle Damage & Recovery in Puna, Hawaii

Two weeks ago, Hurricane Iselle devastated Puna on the Big Island of Hawaii on August 7, 2014.

Fragile invasive albizia trees shattered, downing utility lines and blocking major roads.

Falling Branches

The storm surge at Kapoho flooded and demolished homes. The community immediately started to pitch in with food, water, and ice. The government efficiently organized resources, and cleared roads and beach parks and HELCO is working overtime to get electricity back to folks systematically.

Much mahalos to everyone for your aloha spirit during this challenging time. Imua!

HELCO Power Restoration Update – Nanawale Estates Still Without Power

Electric service has been restored to approximately 300 customers in Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots who have been without power following Tropical Storm Iselle. At this time, more than 99 percent of Hawaii Island customers now have power.

Power Line

An estimated 800 customers remain without power. Nearly all of these customers are in Nanawale Estates, where electrical line crews are focusing their efforts and expect to make more progress today.

The storm caused extensive damage in that area, with many streets impacted by fallen trees, downed power lines and damaged utility poles. Tree-trimming and construction crews have been working in those areas to clear roads and dig holes for poles, so electrical line crews can move in and work safely and efficiently.

In the interests of safety, crews will complete repairs before restoring power to the subdivision. Restoration progress may be impacted by access due to storm debris, fallen trees, or other conditions in the field.

“We understand how hard it’s been for these customers who have been without power for such a long time. We assure them that we we’re committed to restoring service to all of our customers,” said Darren Pai, Hawaii Electric Light spokesman.

Customers in other areas who are still without power should report their outage by calling 969-6666.

Utility crews are working with the county and other agencies to clean up storm debris and damaged utility equipment. As a safety precaution, customers are reminded not to touch or move any fallen poles, lines or other utility equipment.

Electrical line crews are also continuing to work on smaller outages in the following areas:
Hawaiian Paradise Park, Leilani Estates, and Lanipuna Gardens. In addition, tree-trimming and hole-digging crews are continuing to work in Hawaiian Acres, Lanipuna Gardens, Mauna Loa Estates, Nanawale, Pohoiki Road, and Volcano.

Although crews have made good progress, it could still take another two weeks – and in some cases, even longer – to restore power to the areas with the most significant damage. Actual restoration times for each location will depend on the extent of the damage.

Customer Information Center in Puna

Hawaii Electric Light’s Customer Information Center is at the Leilani Estates Community Center at 13-3441 Moku Street in lower Puna. Operating hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The center will close after Friday, Aug. 22. After the center closes, customers may call 969-6666 for status updates.

Until then, company representatives will be on hand to answer questions from the public and provide the status of repairs. Free Wi-Fi access and a charging station will also be available at the center. Customers may bring their electronic devices to the center and get them charged there.

Electrical Safety

Hawaii Electric Light urges the public to remember these important safety tips:

  • Do not approach any downed power lines, as they may have electricity running through them and can be dangerous. If you see someone injured by a downed power line, do not approach them and call 9-1-1 for assistance.
  • Use generators outdoors and away from flammable materials. Generators connected directly to your home may feed excess electricity back into power lines, creating a public safety hazard. Plug appliances directly into your generator, using extension cords.
  • Unplug unnecessary and sensitive electronic equipment. Use high-quality surge suppressors for electric appliances that remain plugged in.
  • Use batteries to power flashlights and lanterns. Do not use candles or other flammable fuel sources, as they are fire hazards.
  • Be aware of trees and utility poles that were weakened by storm winds and have the potential for falling.
  • Anyone who is without power and who is dependent on electric-powered life support medical equipment should make arrangements to go to an alternate location with power. They should bring their medical equipment and medications with them. They should also stay in contact with their medical equipment supplier for any special equipment needs.

Big Island Police Capture Hale Nani Escapee

Hawaiʻi Island police have arrested a 46-year-old Kona man on suspicion of escaping from the Hale Nani correctional facility early Thursday morning (August 21).

Sean Duyser

Sean Duyser

South Hilo Patrol officers arrested Sean Duyser of Kailua-Kona in Hilo at 11 a.m.

He had last been seen at 2 a.m. Thursday at Hale Nani, where he was serving a sentence for a misdemeanor theft conviction. The escape was reported at 3:34 a.m.

Hawaiian Electric Companies Contribute $25,000 to Hawaii Island United Way

Hawaii Electric Light, Hawaiian Electric and Maui Electric have collectively contributed $25,000 to the Hawaii Island United Way. In addition, contributions from employees of the three utilities will be matched by the Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation, up to a total of $10,000. All funds will be used to support Hawaii Island residents impacted by Tropical Storm Iselle.

Shaka For HELCO“Since the storm swept across our island, we’ve all seen how our community has come together to face the challenges,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawaii Electric Light president. “As our company ohana remains focused on restoring power to all of our customers, we’re thankful that Hawaii Island United Way is also directly providing relief to those most impacted by the storm.”

“We are so grateful for the support of the Hawaiian Electric Companies to provide for the victims of Tropical Storm Iselle,” said Jeanine Atebara, president & chief professional officer of Hawaii Island United Way. “We have a network of 40 nonprofit health and human service partner agencies which gives us the connections and contacts to link providers to those who need it most.”

In addition to financial contributions, Hawaii Island United Way is also accepting food donations which may be taken to the Food Basket in Hilo (40 Holomua Street) or Kona (left after Higashihara Park). For more information or to make a financial contribution, please visit www.hiunitedway.org.

HELCO Power Restoration Update – Estimated 1,100 Customers Remain Without Power

Hawaii Electric Light on Tuesday restored service to approximately 100 customers in Discovery Harbor, Keaau, and Pahala Village – areas that lost power as a result of Tropical Storm Iselle. At this time, 99 percent of Hawaii Island customers now have power.

Shaka For HELCOAn estimated 1100 customers remain without power. Nearly all of these customers are in Nanawale Estates, Vacationland, and Kapoho Beach Lots, where electrical line crews are focusing their efforts and expect to make more progress today.

The storm caused extensive damage in those areas, with many streets impacted by fallen trees, downed power lines and damaged utility poles. Tree-trimming and construction crews have been working in those areas for several days to clear roads and dig holes for poles, so electrical line crews can move in and work safely and efficiently.

In the interests of safety, electrical line crews will complete repairs in those areas before restoring power to each subdivision. Restoration progress may be impacted by access due to storm debris, fallen trees, or other conditions in the field.

Customers in areas besides Nanawale Estates, Vacationland, and Kapoho Beach Lots who are still without power should report their outage by calling 969-6666.

Electrical line crews are also continuing to work on smaller outages in the following areas: Hawaiian Paradise Park, Leilani Estates, and Lanipuna Gardens. Tree-trimming and hole-digging crews are also continuing to work in Hawaiian Acres, Lanipuna Gardens, and Nanawale.

Although crews have made good progress and restoration in many areas may be much faster, estimates indicate it could take approximately another two weeks – and in some cases, even longer – to restore power to the areas with the most significant damage. Actual restoration times for each location will depend on the extent of the damage.

Customer Information Center in Puna

Hawaii Electric Light’s Customer Information Center is at the Leilani Estates Community Center at 13-3441 Moku Street in lower Puna and will remain open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – and longer if needed – as the restoration process continues.

Company representatives are on hand to answer questions from the public and provide the status of repairs. Free wi-fi access and a charging station also will be available at the center. Customers may bring their electronic devices to the center and get them charged there. The center at the Hawaiian Shores Community Center in Hawaiian Beaches is closed.

Electrical Safety

Hawaii Electric Light urges the public to remember these important safety tips:

  • Do not handle or move any fallen or damaged utility equipment.
  • Do not approach any downed power lines, as they may have electricity running through them and can be dangerous. If you see someone injured by a downed power line, do not approach them and call 9-1-1 for assistance.
  • Use generators outdoors and away from flammable materials. Generators connected directly to your home may feed excess electricity back into power lines, creating a public safety hazard. Plug appliances directly into your generator, using extension cords.
  • Unplug unnecessary and sensitive electronic equipment. Use high-quality surge suppressors for electric appliances that remain plugged in.
  • Use batteries to power flashlights and lanterns. Do not use candles or other flammable fuel sources, as they are fire hazards.
  • Be aware of trees and utility poles that were weakened by storm winds and have the potential for falling.
  • Anyone who is without power and who is dependent on electric-powered life support medical equipment should make arrangements to go to an alternate location with power. They should bring their medical equipment and medications with them. They should also stay in contact with their medical equipment supplier for any special equipment needs.

Pahoa Roundabout Contract Awarded – Pre-Construction On Schedule To Begin In September

The state Department of Transportation (HDOT) advises motorists well in advance of an upcoming detour as it plans for construction of the new Pahoa Roundabout on Hawaii Island. Beginning in mid- to late September the HDOT anticipates construction signage will begin to go up and construction preparation work will begin as the contractor prepares a temporary detour route.

pahoa round

The detour is anticipated to be put in place in mid- to late October, closing the Pahoa Bypass and diverting traffic onto Pahoa Village Road and Kahakai Boulevard.

Detour conditions will be as follows:

  • Complete closure of Pahoa Bypass Road from Pahoa Village Road to Kahakai Boulevard
  • 24-hour detour onto Pahoa Village Road and Kahakai Boulevard
  • Temporary traffic signal at the intersection of Pahoa Village Road and Kahakai Boulevard
  • Detour speed limit of 25 mph
  • Left turn pocket lane created for Pahoa Marketplace

The $4.8 million project awarded to Isemoto Contracting Co. Ltd, in June of 2014, is expected to begin pre-construction activities in September with completion in summer of 2015. The purpose of this project is to provide a safe, efficient, and accessible facility for all users including motorists, pedestrians, cyclists. The project was needed to address safety and traffic congestion as well as address future increases in traffic volumes.

The HDOT is working to schedule a public meeting prior to opening the upcoming detour. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for early October. Please stay tuned as more information on the meeting will be forthcoming as the date, time and location are finalized.

 

HELCO Power Restoration Update – 1,200 Remain Without Power

Hawaii Electric Light continues to restore electric service to customers who lost power as a result of Tropical Storm Iselle. Service to an additional 300 customers was restored Monday. Currently, an estimated 1200 customers remain without power.

Significant progress has been made in Hawaiian Beaches and Hawaiian Paradise Park. Pockets of customers within these areas may still be out of power. Customers in those areas who are still without power should report it by calling 969-6666.

Areas of work

Today, electrical line crews are focused on the following areas:

  • Nanawale Estates – electrical line crews are working on power lines throughout the subdivision. Work also continues on digging holes to replace utility poles damaged by falling trees.
  • Lanipuna Gardens – electrical line crews are working on repairs on the main line providing service to the subdivision, as well as side streets.
  • Leilani Estates – electrical line crews are working on Kahukai Street and side streets, which suffered extensive damage from fallen trees.
  • Kapoho – electrical line crews are working on lines that provide service to Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots.

“We appreciate our customers’ patience as we make progress. In some neighborhoods, although main power lines have been restored, individual outages may need to be addressed home by home,” said Darren Pai, Hawaii Electric Light spokesman.

Restoration progress may also be impacted by access due to storm debris, fallen trees, or other conditions in the field.

Even if customers don’t see crews in their area, we want customers to know that work is being done to restore power to their communities. In many cases, additional work on the electric system is needed in other locations to restore service.

Although crews are making progress and restoration in many areas may be much faster, estimates indicate it could approximately another two weeks – and in some cases, even longer – to restore power to the areas with the most significant damage. Actual restoration times for each location will depend on the extent of the damage.

Customer Information Center in Puna

Hawaii Electric Light’s Customer Information Center was relocated on Aug. 16 to Leilani Estates Community Center at 13-3441 Moku Street in lower Puna, and will remain open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – and longer if needed – as the restoration process continues. The center at the Hawaiian Shores Community Center in Hawaiian Beaches is closed.

Company representatives are on hand to answer questions from the public and provide the status of repairing the damage. A charging station also will be available at the center. Customers may bring their electronic devices to the center and get them charged there.

Restoring PowerBackground on restoration process

The process for restoring service involves many steps that need to be coordinated to ensure public and utility workers’ safety. We also must ensure we deploy the right resources to ensure crews can restore power as quickly as possible. Here’s an overview of the restoration process:

  • Assess damage: Damage assessments by field crews identify the extent of damage and the specific materials – including poles, transformers, and power lines – that need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Clear trees and debris/dig holes: Contracted tree trimming and construction crews then need to clear fallen trees and debris and dig holes for utility poles
  • Install poles, restring lines, and install transformers: Electrical line crews can then be deployed to begin installing the poles, framing the cross arms on the poles, restringing lines, and installing transformers and other equipment.
  • Repair main line first before energizing: Work is first done on the main lines serving subdivisions to restore the connection into those neighborhoods. Side streets can then be restored. Even after power is restored to a neighborhood, there may still be damage at individual homes or pockets of homes within a neighborhood that will need to be addressed separately.