Trees knock out power

LIHUE — Around 100 households lost power on Tuesday, and another 300 on Monday, after high winds knocked trees onto transmission lines.

“We had six localized outages between midnight Monday and Tuesday afternoon, all caused by tree branches falling on lines,” said Jim Kelly, communications manager for Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.

The outages were in Hanalei, Kokee, Niumalu, Kipu, Lawai and Moloaa.

The Kauai Police Dispatch Center reported Kuhio Highway was closed at mile marker six in Lumahai after trees downed telephone lines just after midnight Tuesday. The road was cleared by 7:45 a.m.

Repair expenses are part of KIUC’s fixed costs, Kelly added. This type of damage is anticipated and part of maintenance.

“When it’s windy, we get tree branches falling on lines,” he said. “We have albizia trees all across the island, especially on the North Shore, and the branches are notoriously heavy and brittle. We spend about $1.2 million a year on tree trimming and it’s work that goes on year-round.”

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