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Emergency Response Plans Activated by Maui Electric as Olivia Nears

Photo: Alberta DeJetly

Maui Electric is moving crews and equipment where needed as Tropical Storm Olivia approaches the islands, and wants customers to know they should prepare for storm-related power outages. Due to impending storm conditions for the safety of customers, Maui Electric’s Customer Service and Engineering offices at 210 W. Kamehameha Ave. will be closed to customers on Wednesday, Sept. 12. To report downed power lines or outages, call Maui Electric’s trouble line at Maui 871-7777 or toll-free for Lānaʻi or Molokaʻi toll free at 1-877-871-8461.

There are no scheduled or planned outages at this time. As the storm approaches and in the event of outages, repair crews are dispatched as long as working conditions are safe to do so. After the storm passes, employees are ready to help restore power and assist customers in their communities once working conditions are deemed safe.

During storms, wind gusts can cause tree branches or fronds to break loose and come into contact with our lines. Falling trees could also hit a pole or more likely, an overhead line, knocking the line down or causing the pole to lean, resulting in an outage or requiring electricity to be cut off until the pole or overhead line are safely repaired or replaced.

Due to uncontrolled forces of nature, such as tropical storm or hurricanes, power lines can come down. Stay at least 30 feet away (about two car lengths) from downed power lines as they may have electricity running through them and may be dangerous. If you see someone injured after touching a downed power line, call 9-1-1 for help; don’t try to rescue the individual.

Before the storm hits or if there is a power outage, the company also reminds customers to:

  • Unplug all unnecessary electric equipment and appliances until the storm has passed or until power is restored. Should you need to evacuate, take emergency supplies and remember to shut off electricity at the main breaker or switch.
  • When using a portable generator, carefully read and follow instructions in the manufacturer’s manual. Do not plug the generator into your household electrical outlets.
  • Make plans in advance to go to a safe location where electricity will be available if someone in your home depends on an electrically powered life support system and you don’t have a backup generator.
  • If you have a rooftop photovoltaic system, consult with your licensed solar contractor regarding normal and emergency operation procedures for your solar system. As a safety precaution, most photovoltaic systems are designed to safely shut down during outages. PV systems typically have monitoring capabilities which allow owners to check on the status of their equipment.
  • If your PV system is designed to provide emergency back-up power in the event of an outage, contact your contractor to ensure your system is safely working in the event of outages. Even though power may be out, your system may still be producing enough voltage that could cause serious injury (or worse) if you or anyone comes in contact with it.

Maui Electric will keep customers informed about progress throughout restoration efforts. Additionally, broad estimates apply to the total number of customers affected, rather than to individual households and businesses.

  • Maui Electric is closely monitoring Olivia and is making emergency preparations as the storm approaches the company’s three-island service territory.
  • While there are no planned or scheduled outages, the strength and intensity of the storm will likely trigger power outages. Customers should plan ahead for the possibility of extended outages.
  • The utility has processes in place to restore power to customers as quickly and as safely as possible once it is safe to do so.

More electrical safety and preparation tips are available in the companies’ Handbook for

Emergency Preparedness, available in five languages, at www.mauielectric.com/prepare. Follow the companies on their social media channels for updates: Facebook – The Hawaiian Electric Companies; Instagram – The Hawaiian Electric Companies and Twitter – Maui Electric: @mauielectric.

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