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Hawaiian Electric crews confronting restoration challenges

Lingering effects of storm delay power restoration in downtown Honolulu

Release Date: 12/8/2021

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HONOLULU, 5 p.m., Dec. 8, 2021 – About eight buildings in downtown Honolulu will remain without electricity at least through tonight. Hawaiian Electric crews have been working to repair high-voltage underground cables that were damaged by flooding during Monday’s torrential rain.

As of 5 p.m., more than 900 customers in the downtown area have been restored. One key circuit, which provides electricity to seven large buildings downtown, including the federal building, remains out of service.

Crews today identified additional damage – a blown splice – on the underground line for that circuit. In order to repair the splice on the high-voltage line, water inside the manhole needed to be pumped out. However, storm drains in the area are clogged, causing water to pour back into the manhole every time the crews pumped water out. At least three truckloads of water had to be pumped, delaying repair work.

Once the damaged splice was removed, crews discovered that water had damaged the cable. Additional crews were brought in to remove the damaged line and install new cable. The repair is expected to take several hours. Once completed, system operators will begin testing in hopes of restoring power to customers incrementally, to avoid overloading the circuit.

Hawaiian Electric appreciates customers’ continued patience and understanding as crews work as fast as possible while ensuring the safety of the public and their teammates.