Update #3: Repairs progress but most of downtown Honolulu likely to remain without power overnight

Crews working to repair high-voltage underground cable damaged by flood

Release Date: 12/7/2021

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HONOLULU, Dec. 7, 2021 – Even as repairs progress, much of downtown Honolulu is likely to remain without power tonight, with full restoration taking until Wednesday morning.

More than 50 Hawaiian Electric personnel are working to repair equipment damaged when the Iwilei substation and numerous underground vaults containing high-voltage cables were flooded Monday night. Power to some downtown buildings, including the State Capitol, was restored this morning after crews repaired one of three transformers damaged by the flood and are currently working to repair two other substation transformers that were damaged.

However, after water was pumped out of some underground vaults, crews found about 300 feet of high-voltage cable that was damaged by the flooding. The work to splice in new sections of cable in the confined space is especially challenging and will take time. Once the cable is replaced and splices completed, testing will need to be done before restoration can occur.

“It’s possible some customers may be restored this evening, but it’s looking like the bulk of the area affected by this extraordinary weather event will not come back online until tomorrow. We want residents and business owners to have this information so they can plan ahead,” said Jim Alberts, senior vice president of operations.

“It’s possible the work will go faster but we want people to be prepared. We’ve been in contact with a lot of business operators, management companies and government agencies downtown and we appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding. We have multiple crews working around the clock to get electricity safely restored as quickly as possible.”