High winds have caused numerous power outages today–and as of 5:30, about 5,000 were still without Power, according to the HELCO Web site.
The utility reported that “an estimated 5,000 customers are without power in portions of Hawaiian Paradise Park, Orchidland, Ainaloa, Hawaiian Beaches, Hawaiian Shores, Kapoho, Nanawale, Leilani Estates, Fern Forest, Fern Acres, Hawaiian Acres, Eden Roc, Aloha Estates, Volcano Village, Hawi, Wood Valley, Hilo, and Waimea.” It advised customers in the Lower Puna subdivisions of Hawaiian Beaches, Hawaiian Shores, Kapoho, Nanawale, and Leilani Estates to “prepare for extended outages which could last into next week and in some areas, much longer.”
“In some areas, strong winds toppled trees and caused extensive damage to power lines and utility poles,” said the company’s press release. “Ongoing windy conditions make it unsafe for tree trimmers to clear roadways and for crews to conduct assessments and make repairs.”
The company said custome’s trying to report outages “may experience a longer wait time before speaking with a representative.” Some customers who dialed the company’s infamous “number of the beast”–it’s 969-6666 customer service line– were met with busy signals several times before they got through to the company’s call waiting message. One Volcano customer who did finally connect with a service representative said he was told that the company’s line crews were “swamped.”