HAWAII ISLAND – Unlike the severe weather alerts seen across the state yesterday, there are no active watches or warnings as of 5 p.m. Friday evening.
However, according to a Hawaii County Civil Defense message, residents in East Hawaii can still expect to see some thunderstorms this evening.
Officials say the National Weather Service reports thunder and lightning for Puna and Hilo through this evening.
“Remember, if lightning threatens your area, the safest place to be is indoors,” civil defense said in a Friday message. “Be aware of possible flooding and power outages through this evening for affected areas. Some power outages may already be occurring. Motorists are to treat intersections with inoperable traffic lights as 4-way stops.”
Hawai‘i Electric Light reported that customers in the Hilo and Puna districts experienced brief power interruptions due to lightning strikes late Thursday afternoon. About 1,250 customers in the Hilo area experienced a longer interruption of about 1½ hours, HELCO officials said. Most customers were restored by early evening.
“After lightning strikes damaged utility equipment, crews responded immediately and rerouted electricity to restore power to most customers,” said company spokesperson Rhea Lee-Moku. “Our transmission and distribution systems are designed with redundancies, or duplicate critical components, that provide alternate routes if one component fails or is damaged. This allows us to improve reliability and restore power to customers more quickly until permanent repairs can be made.”