Crews continue to make progress on restoring power to customers affected by Tropical Storm Iselle, according to Hawaii Electric Light Co.
As of Tuesday, an estimated 6,800 — or about 8 percent — of customers remain without power, down from an estimated 8,100 on Monday.
“We understand many of our customers are still dealing with a very difficult situation. We are devoting every available resource to this effort. We have made progress and are committed to restoring power as quickly as possible,” HELCO spokesman Darren Pai said in a written statement.
Line crews were scheduled to work in Hamakua, upper Puna, Ainaloa, Hawaiian Beaches and Hawaiian Paradise Park, and contracted crews were to work in Leilani Estates and Nanawale Estates.
HELCO continues to operate its customer information center 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily at Hawaiian Shores Community Center in Hawaiian Beaches. Customers may bring their electronic devices and get them charged.
Hawaiian Telcom crews were working with HELCO and others to clear fallen trees, downed poles and cables, and other debris.
“Once all the roads are open, we can inspect our facilities and equipment in the areas we haven’t been able to reach, such as subdivisions within the Puna District,” said Bryan Lindsey, Hawaiian Telcom’s Big Island manager. “While we’ve restored service to thousands of Big Island customers who were impacted by the storm, we know that others are waiting and want to assure them that we will get to them just as quickly as possible.”
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, formerly State Civil Defense, and the county will set up Disaster Assistance and Recovery Centers to provide information and services to people whose property was damaged.
The centers will open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday at Pahoa Community Center, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Mountain View Gym.
State and county agencies and nonprofit agencies will be on hand to provide information on available services.
Information gathered from visitors will help the county and state evaluate whether the criteria for a federal disaster declaration has been met.
The state Department of Human Services has also opened four assistance offices for East Hawaii Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients to request reimbursement for food spoiled by storm-related power outages.
The locations are: Hawaiian Shores Community Center; Nanawale Estates Community Center; Leilani Estates Community Center; and Church of the Nazarene in Hawaiian Paradise Park.
Hours are 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through Aug. 22, with the exception of this Friday, which is a state holiday.