NEWS UPDATES: MAKAWAO OUTAGE; BRUSH FIRE FORCES CLOSURE OF KULA HIGHWAY

MAKAWAO POWER OUTAGE UPDATE

High winds brought down a utility pole causing a power outage in Upcountry Maui this afternoon.

The outage was reported at around 2 p.m., and extended from Upcountry to an area just outside of Hana including Makawao, Pukalani, Haiku, Olinda, Piiholo and Hana. Most areas had power restored within an hour, and remaing pockets in Makawao near Kalama and King Kekaulike schools was restored by around 6:30 p.m.

A separate outage in Kahului this afternoon was not widespread and was caused by a cable fault.  At 7:10 p.m. crews were still working to restore the isolated outage.

The troubleshooter hotline for Maui Electric Company is 871-7777.

BRUSH FIRE FORCES CLOSURE OF KULA HIGHWAY

A fire first reported at 2:10 pm burned an estimated 10-15 acres in Kula this afternoon (Friday, June 19, 2009).  County Information Officer Mahina Martin said the brush fire appeared to have started in a field adjacent to King Kekaulike High School and came within approximately 200 feet to a nearby residence.

Four fire engines and two water tankers dispatched to the incident were aided by two helicopters conducting water drops in very windy conditions.

As of 5:30 this afternoon the fire is not advancing. No structures have been damaged and no injuries reported.

Maui Police closed the Kula Highway from Aapueo Parkway to Halekalaka Highway. The road remained officially closed at 7:05 p.m., however, there was room to allow for intermittent passage of vehicles.

Motorists at last report (7:05 p.m.) were still being advised to avoid the area to allow crews and equipment better acess.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

(Posted by Wendy Osher © 2009)

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