Kauai utility to cut power to some customers amid red flag conditions

Select Kauai powerlines will be de-energized due to red flag warning impacting state
Select Kauai powerlines will be de-energized due to red flag warning impacting state(WKYT)
Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 6:19 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 31, 2023 at 5:18 AM HST
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KOKEE (HawaiiNewsNow) - Select power lines on Kauai will be de-energized due to red flag warning currently impacting leeward parts of the islands, according to Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.

SEE MORE: Red flag warning in effect for leeward areas as low humidity, gusty trades drive up risk of fires

KIUC will be taking the following actions Wednesday evening after 6 p.m.:

  • The electrical line serving Kokee will be de-energized. KICU says 100 members receiving power in Kokee and Makaha Ridge will be impacted.
  • The electrical line serving the Mahaulepu area will also be de-energized — impacting a small number of members, and they have been contacted directly.
  • Electrical circuits serving Port Allen to Mana will be set to not automatically re-close.
  • KIUC troubleshooters will be patrolling leeward areas; additional actions may be taken if warranted.

Power will likely not be restored to the impacted areas until after the red flag warning is rescinded and KIUC crews have inspected the lines to ensure they can be safely re-energized.

KIUC anticipates these actions will remain in effect until the red flag warning period ends, which is estimated at 6 p.m. Aug 31.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Hawaiian Electric told HNN that there are no plans it to shut off power despite the elevated fire risk.

They say doing so would require coordination with multiple organizations, including critical infrastructure owners, emergency management officials and first responders.

But the utility says it’s working with emergency officials on safety plans through the end of hurricane season.

Hawaiian Electric’s Media Relations released the following statement: There are no plans to do a preemptive power shutoff – this is an action with wide-ranging impacts on our communities that must be coordinated with many others, including emergency management officials, first responders, critical infrastructure owners and regulators. We are working with emergency management officials and others on plans for keeping our communities safe during weather events through the end of this hurricane season. Longer term, we will work with a broad group of stakeholders to create an action plan that is appropriate for the unique conditions in Hawaiʻi.