Residents should prepare for potentially long power outages from Hurricane Lane

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Depending on hurricane track and scope of damage, Hawaiian Electric says customers should anticipate power outages from Hurricane Lane.

The strength and the intensity of the storm makes outages likely, and residents could be out of power for an extended period of time, the utility warns.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies are moving crews and equipment where needed as Lane approaches the islands. In the event of outages, repair crews will be dispatched only after the storm has passed and when conditions are safe.

“We just want to set that expectation that you have to plan even for an extended outage, and we just really want to let people know that once it’s safe, once the storm has passed, once it’s safe for us to get our crews out to different areas to restore power, then we will do it,” said Shannon Tangonan, HECO spokeswoman.

During storms, wind gusts can cause tree branches or fronds to break loose and come into contact with power lines. Falling trees could also hit a pole, or more likely, an overhead line, knocking the line down or causing the pole to lean, resulting in an outage or requiring electricity to be cut off until the pole or overhead line are safely repaired or replaced.

Watch for downed power lines. Stay at least 30 feet away (about two car lengths) from downed power lines, as they may have electricity running through them and may be dangerous.

If you see someone injured after touching a downed power line, call 911.

Due to impending weather conditions, Hawaiian Electric’s downtown payment center on Bishop Street will be closed Friday.

More electrical safety and preparation tips are available in the companies’ Handbook for Emergency Preparedness, available in five languages, at www.hawaiianelectric.com/prepare; www.mauielectric.com/prepare; and www.hawaiielectriclight.com/prepare.

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