(BIVN) – The company that powers Hawaiʻi island is planning to reroute electricity if lava from the Mauna Loa eruption cuts off transmission lines on Saddle Road.
Hawaiian Electric issued a news release on Thursday, saying that the company is preparing for the potential impacts of the eruption, including making plans to find alternate driving routes for outage response, ensuring sufficient fuel supply for company-owned facilities and vehicles, completing critical maintenance work, and staging areas for vehicles and equipment.
On Thursday, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported the advance of lava slowed over the past 24 hours, to a rate of 0.025 miles per hour. “As of 7 a.m. HST today, the flow front is about 3.4 miles (5.4 km) from the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road),” the HVO stated.
“We want to assure the community that we’re ready and able to respond,” said Kristen Okinaka, spokesperson for Hawaiian Electric. “Because of the unpredictable nature of the flows, we’re developing several plans to keep power on and will put into action the plan that best fits the situation. The safety of employees and community is our top priority.”
The power company says it will provide more specific information “on how customers could be impacted if the flow nears its facilities.”
“As with any natural disaster, the community is encouraged to be prepared for possible power outages and follow the advice of Civil Defense and first responders,” the Hawaiian Electric news release urges.
At the current rates, which will be highly variable over the coming days, “the earliest the lava flow might be expected to reach the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road) is one week,” HVO scientists calculated. “However, there are many variables at play and both the direction and timing of flow advance are fluid and are expected to change over periods of hours to days.”
by Big Island Video News
HAWAIʻI ISLAND - The Big Island's power company is already making plans for the loss of transmission lines should lava reach Saddle Road.