Categorized | Business, Energy

HELCO non-union employees respond to power outages

MEDIA RELEASE

Large fallen Albezia tree knocked out power in the Kapoho area Saturday (March 5). Photo courtesy of HELCO.

Large fallen Albezzia tree knocked out power in the Kapoho area Saturday (March 5). Photo courtesy of HELCO.

(HILO) — Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) management employees faced several weather-related challenges as rains hit the island over the weekend.

On Saturday, a lightning strike in Ocean View Estates damaged a transformer. Employees replaced the transformer and restored power by 7:30p.m. A handful of customers were affected.

In the Kapoho/Leilani Estates area, a large albezzia tree fell across power lines affecting 1,350 customers at 3:24p.m. By 4:35p.m., power to 1,270 customers was restored. Power to the remaining 80 customers was restored by 6:31p.m.

Supervisor Gary Akimseu oversees Educational Services Coordinator Kenyan Beals during a power plant startup.

Supervisor Gary Akimseu oversees Educational Services Coordinator Kenyan Beals during a power plant startup.

In other parts of the company, HELCO employees in the Production department brought a power generator on-line that had been shut down for scheduled maintenance.

“I am very proud of the way our employees responded this weekend,” said Jay Ignacio, HELCO President. “Employee and public safety are our first and foremost priority, especially when we have employees working in non-traditional roles.”

One hundred seventeen (117) management employees or about one-third of the HELCO work staff, have been dispatched to the energy production, energy delivery, and customer services departments, representing the core operational services of the company. “With a relatively small management staff we have to prioritize which services we need to provide to our customers,” Ignacio said. “Our obligation is to provide reliable power to our customers, and we will do that by working safely and methodically.”

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Hawaiian Electric reports most power restored on Oahu

(HONOLULU) — As of 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning, electric service was restored to more than 2,000 customers in the Ewa Beach area who had been mostly without power since Friday. Management crews worked through the night to make repairs on the underground lines serving the area.

Service to approximately 950 customers in the Kaneohe/Kahuluu area who lost power Saturday afternoon was also restored.

“Our management crews wanted to stay until the job was done because our customers had been without power for so long,” said Lynne Unemori, Hawaiian Electric vice president for corporate relations. “These crews expressed gratitude to many people who thanked them for their work by honking, flashing lights and in one in case, delivering hot coffee to the work site.”

Up to 500 customers remain out of power due to pocket outages – from a single home to a cluster of homes – in scattered locations around the island. Management crews will address those areas as quickly as possible in a safe manner.

Six utility poles remain down along Old Fort Weaver Road but the power has been routed to other circuits so no customers should be without power due to the downed poles.

A portion of Old Fort Weaver Road remains blocked. Management crews and contractors are also replacing utility 15 poles on Fort Weaver Road and three utility poles on Fort Barrette road that were knocked down during severe weather early Friday morning.

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