Maui News

Cause of Tuesday’s Power Outage Identified

February 26, 2015, 2:51 PM HST
* Updated February 26, 2:52 PM
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Maui power. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui power. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Crews at Maui Electric Company identified the cause of Tuesday’s power outage that knocked out electricity to more than 6,500 customers in Makwao, Haʻikū and Hāna in East Maui.

Company spokesperson, Kauʻi Awai-Dickson said a support wire broke and made contact with a primary electrical line, damaging a pole near the Kamaʻole Weir in Upcountry Maui at around 2:25 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24.

About an hour after full power restoration was reported, Awai-Dickson noted that the same circuit went offline again due to the severed support wire.  At the time, field inspectors had not yet identified the problem at the Kamaʻole Weir, Awai-Dickson said.

An estimated 5,690 customers in Haʻikū and Makawao were without power during the second outage until power was rerouted and restored shortly after 7 p.m.

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The company initially reported that the outage was caused when a Pukalani circuit breaker relayed open.

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Customers in Hāna were on backup generator overnight following the initial outage; but problems with the units on Wednesday morning, Feb. 25, resulted in an outage for about 570 customers for about two hours between 8:47 and 10:34 a.m., company officials said.

“Maui Electric is committed to doing everything possible to prevent these incidents from happening again,” said Awai-Dickson in a statement.  “We know that these outages are a burden on families and we sincerely thank our customers for their understanding and patience,” she said.

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