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Two Days of Power Outages Last Week

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Loss of generation at the Pala’au Power Plant and a day of gusty southerly winds caused power outages around the island last week Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Feb. 2 at around 2:30 p.m., about 2,500 customers around the island experienced an outages for nearly two hours. Residents in Ho’olehua, Kualapu’u, Kalae, east end, Pu’unana and Kaluakoi were affected.

Hawaiian Electric officials later confirmed the outages was caused “when a loss of generation on the electrical system triggered an automatic load shed.” A load shed is when certain electrical circuits automatically shut off to keep remaining systems operating until replacement generation is brought on, said Hawaiian Electric spokesperson Shayna Decker. The cause of the generation loss is still being assessed, she said, as of last Friday.

The following day, Ho’olehua, Kalae and Maunaloa areas against lost power, this time due to damage from gusty southerly winds, said Decker. The outages began in the morning just before 8 a.m. A pole came down in Maunaloa, and a large ironwood tree fell on the power lines along Kalae Highway, according to officials. Maunaloa School was closed for the day due to the outage.

About 1,800 customers were affected by the Wednesday outages. Crews worked throughout the day to replace the downed pole in Maunaloa, and repair lines along Kalae Highway. Power in Kalae was restored around 3:30 pm, while Maunaloa residents got power back around 4 p.m.

Hawaiian Electric thanked customers for their patience. If you experience a power outage in your area, you can call the utility’s Trouble Line toll-free at 877-871-8461 or (808) 871-7777.

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