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Frayed Electric Company Cable Caused Kaua?i Power Outage


LIHUE, Hawaii — A frayed 17-year-old cable was to blame for a widespread power outage in Hawai?i, a report said.

Kaua?i Island Utility Cooperative discovered the cause Monday and plans to repair the cable by Friday, the Garden Island reported Tuesday.

The worn cable was connected to the company's largest collection of generators that serves about 33,000 customers, CEO David Bissell said.

As a result, an almost three-hour outage left many without power on Kaua?i, which has a population of about 72,000 people, the company said in a statement.

Several other units were down at its Port Allen Generation Station for scheduled maintenance, but repairs have been delayed until custom-made replacement parts can be shipped from the U.S. mainland, a report said.

"Logistics out here in the middle of the ocean can always go haywire," Bissell said. "We're hopeful but cautious."

A newly functioning diesel generator should supplement some power until repairs are complete, but consumers are still encouraged to conserve energy. Limiting use of heavy appliances like washers and dryers and setting air conditioners to higher temperatures would be helpful, a report said.

Uncooperative weather could slow the repair process.

"Mother nature hasn't helped us," Bissell said. "Our crews are working hard to bring our generation units back on line safely and quickly."

Kaua?i, the northwest end of the Hawaiian islands, last had a major power outage in November 2018 because of a technical problem at the utility cooperative.

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