HILO, Hawaii – Hawaii Island is working to recover after a day of strong winds. The Hawaii Electric Light Company reported it is responding to outages caused by high winds gusting over 50 mph.
Fallen trees and branches have downed poles and lines in various areas of Hawai‘i Island, including Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, Hamakua to Pepe‘ekeo, Hilo, Mountain View, and lower Puna. Hawai‘i Electric Light personnel worked through the night to restore power and ensure public safety.
Hawaiian Beaches, Hawaiian Paradise Park and various locations in East Hawai‘i remain without power as crews continue to restore all customers as quickly and safely as possible.HELCO media release, Jan. 23, 2014
Hawaii County Police issued Nixle alerts to the public, reporting Hilo’s Kalanikoa and Kuawa Street intersection closed to traffic due to downed utility lines for the next 2 hours. North Kulani Road in Mountain View was closed in both directions overnight due to a downed tree and power pole, but it has since re-opened.
HELCO offers some advice to customers for these blustery times:
As a safety reminder, do not approach or touch fallen or low hanging power lines, equipment, or anything they may be in contact with. A seemingly harmless wire may still be energized. Customers may call 969-6666 to report power outages and downed power lines. For more information and safety tips, visit www.hawaiielectriclight.com and click the “Safety and Emergency” tab.HELCO media release, Jan. 23, 2014
Meanwhile, a high wind warning remains for the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Lona. According to the National Weather Service, the warning is in effect until noon Thursday. “Take necessary precautions to protect property,” wrote the NWS. “Travel to the summit areas should be delayed until winds subside.”
On Wednesday, employees of the observatories located at the summit of Mauna Kea evacuated because of strong wind and ice. In this video below, captured by Lynn Beittel of Visionary Video, engineers at the W.M. Keck Observatory report dangerous gusts over 100 mph.