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Small power outages in wake of Douglas

LIHU‘E — About 2,100 households saw power outages late Sunday and early Monday as the island hunkered down in anticipation of Hurricane Douglas, the storm that bounced north and never came.

Shellie Smith Kelley was getting ready to make dinner and charging her phone when the power went out. This outage wasn’t related to the storm, but it did affect her prep.

Kelley’s power was out from about 6 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday evening in Kapa‘a at Waialeale Estates, which Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative reported around 7 p.m. and fixed around 8:40 p.m.

But that wasn’t the case for several houses on Kelley’s street. “The people across the street had power, and so did the people behind us,” Kelley said. “It was really weird.”

KIUC monitors its smart meter infrastructure which tracks outages. But this outage wasn’t appearing on the map, Kelley said. “I have to say, KIUC was so friendly and helpful,” she said.

When significant work is involved for a fix, sometimes some houses have power restored faster than others, a spokesperson explained.

There were two larger outages reported and fixed by KIUC during the storm.

The bulk of the outages occurred between 1 and 4:30 a.m Monday, including one in ‘Ele‘ele and Kalaheo affecting 1,174 households around 12:52 a.m.

KIUC reported an auto accident with a utility pole which caused a tripped breaker and lockout. The affected pole and associated transformer were replaced, according to a KIUC spokesperson. This outage, lasted less than three hours.

Another outage in Lihu‘e affected about 800 households along Rice Street caused by bamboo contacting lines in front of the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort.

KIUC troubleshooters restored power within two hours for each of these outages.

Smaller outages occurred in Kapahi, Anahola, Moloa‘a, Wainiha and Wailua, in most cases due to trees impacting the lines.

“We’re thankful to our crews for responding during adverse weather conditions and to our members for their patience,” KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer David Bissell said in a statement Monday morning. “I’m very proud of how our employees at KIUC rallied to prepare for hurricane impacts, which, thankfully, turned out to be minimal.”

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Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

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