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Upgraded power poles being installed for Lahaina repairs

By Staff | Sep 6, 2018

Hurricane Lane and brush fires damaged 45 poles in West Maui on Aug. 24.

KAHULUI – In addition to providing extra crews to help with storm response efforts, Hawaii Electric Light and Hawaiian Electric also provided Maui Electric with shipments of upgraded poles that arrived by barge on Aug. 28 and headed straight to Lahaina to further accelerate repairs in the area.

Crews continued major repairs in West Maui last week to rebuild two main transmission lines and replace about 45 poles that were severely damaged from impacts due to Hurricane Lane.

Some of the new poles being installed in areas that may be more exposed to fire hazards, such as dry brush, are made of steel. With Hawaii seeing more severe weather in recent years, the upgraded poles are rated to withstand higher wind gusts for greater resiliency of the island’s electrical system.

Maui Electric does maintain adequate inventory of poles and electrical equipment as part of routine replacements and emergency preparations.

However, due to the extensive damage caused from Hurricane Lane, additional supplies, such as the upgraded poles, and support resources were deployed to further speed up restoration efforts and repairs.

All isolated pocket outages on Maui were restored as of Aug. 28 with the exception of four customers on Pu’u Way in Haiku.

These customers were previously served by underground electrical lines that washed out after a culvert in the area collapsed during the storm.

Maui Electric engineers designed a temporary overhead line solution, and crews installed poles and ran power lines across the culvert to restore these affected customers as quickly as possible.