Storm Center

Storm Restoration Process

Following a major storm or natural disaster, power can be restored anytime between several minutes to several days. This depends on several factors:

  • The cause and severity of the damage to the electric utility's system
  • Weather conditions
  • Accessibility of the damaged area
  • Special parts needed to repair the damage
  • In general, underground repairs take longer than repairs to overhead lines

After dangerous conditions have subsided, crews will be deployed to repair lines and restore power. Emergency facilities such as hospitals, the Board of Water Supply, wastewater plants, military facilities, and the airports will have first priority for restoration after a storm. Be assured, though, that we remain committed to restoring service to all of our customers, and our crews will do their best to restore power as soon as possible.

Download our PDF: Steps to Restore Power Safely After a Storm

Steps to Restore Power Safely After a Storm

Take a look at how we’re restoring power on Hawaii Island as quickly as possible, with safety as our top priority. Whenever it’s possible to safely do some of these steps in parallel, we will do so. We greatly appreciate your patience as we move through these steps to restore power to everyone.

  1. Address public safety and assess damage
    It starts with ensuring public safety and conducting damage assessments. Field crews assess the extent of damage and the specific materials and equipment - including poles, transformers, and power lines - that need to be repaired or replaced.

  2. Clear trees and debris / dig holes
    Contracted tree-trimming and construction crews then need to clear fallen trees and debris and dig holes for utility poles.

  3. Repair high-voltage transmission lines
    When transmission towers and lines are damaged, they must often be repaired before other parts of the system can work.

  4. Repair substations
    Each substation serves thousands of customers. When a major outage occurs, we must address issues at the substations to determine if the problem stems from lines feeding into the substation or the substation itself.

  5. Repair distribution lines
    Distribution lines are checked and repaired. These lines carry power to large groups of customers in communities or neighborhoods.

  6. Repair neighborhood tap lines and connect individual customers
    “Tap” lines are checked and repaired to restore power for the neighborhood. We then verify the customer’s electrical connecting point is safe to use. If power is still not on, a local electrician can help verify that the connection from the home to the grid has not been damaged.